PROPOSED changes to car park charges in East Lindsey have been described as fair by executive councillors.
East Lindsey District Council's Executive Board has agreed to recommend a number of proposals relating to the council's car parks which will be decided at the authority's full council meeting in January.
These include proposed fee increases at short, medium and long-stay car parks; car parks which are currently free all day will become chargeable but retaining an hour of free parking, and the introduction of Sunday parking charges across the district.
The proposed changes also include an equalisation of parking charges across the district, meaning parking charges and the daily charging period will be the same whether you are on the coast or in a market town.
Councillor Tony Bridges, portfolio holder for the environment, presented his report to the executive board, building on the work of the all-party scrutiny panel.
He said: "This is about fairness across the district. There has been inconsistencies in the past and it is time these are addressed. This council has had cuts imposed upon it and we are expecting more. Car parking is part of the revenue stream. This council has not put up car parking charges since 2008 and I don't think it is unreasonable to put up charges when many equate to a rise of just 20p."
He said the alternative could be to increase council tax but he said it would be unfair to expect residents who do not drive or use public transport to incur an increase in council tax.
Councillor Doreen Stephenson, leader of East Lindsey District Council agreed this is a fairer way, especially as there has never been any free car parking in Skegness. Councillor Adam Grist supported the report but called for any changes to be monitored, particularly for any potential impact on the local economy. Councillor John Upsall, portfolio holder for finance said car parking was something the council agreed to look into nearly a year ago.
He said: "This council has contained the lowest council tax by a long way and we keep balancing the books without losing frontline services. It is certainly not unreasonable to increase car parking since it has not changed since 2008."
Last week, the Target, using information supplied by East Lindsey District Council, listed The Mall car park in Woodhall Spa as one of the car parks which could go paid for after the first hour. This is a privately owned car park. The car parks affected by the changes in the town are the car parks on Royal Square and the Broadway.