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Parking and Swimming, Winning and Losing: All Sides of the Same Coin...

December 16, 2021 9:57 AM

Parking Sandgate High Street / Gough RoadWednesday afternoon I was at the Folkestone & Hythe District Council Cabinet meeting, with a varied agenda: https://www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=142&MId=4949

Really pleased to get a couple of amendments accepted.

Firstly, an addition to the Capital budget for next year to aim to start the roll-out of accepting of contactless payments in car parks in the district (on top of cash and Ringo). I proposed, seconded by Cabinet Member for Parking, accepted unanimously: result!

Secondly, an amendment to the proposed "Fees and Charges" for next year. The proposals sought to remove the "off-peak" adult swim rate at Hythe Pool altogether, meaning that instead of an adult paying £3.30 for an off-peak swim, they would pay £4.50 under the new charges. I argued that was clearly unreasonable, and that the off peak rate should be retained (even if it goes up 10p like other fees, but not £1.20!). Seconded by Hythe Councillor Lesley Whybrow, and agreed by majority - another result!

However, my third amendment fell, as no other Councillor would second it. The parking charge fee for up to two hours parking in Sandgate's Castle Road and Wilberforce Road car parks is currently £1 - it was proposed that this rise to £1.50 - a 50% rise overnight, which is the highest I can see anywhere in the district. I argued for a more proportionate rise - say £1.20 - but failed to get support at Cabinet for that so it fell. Disappointed, but as a philosopher once said, you can't win them all. However, this may not be the last we hear of this...

The papers tonight are only part of a process that lead up to the Council's budget setting meeting in February.

A consultation will now start, and there will be amendments to figures and refinements before that meeting: and, I'm sure (really sure), some proposals made at it...