Could Sunday parking charges be introduced in Horsham town centre?

JPCT 060115 S15010397x Horsham. Piries Place car park -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-150601-111657001
JPCT 060115 S15010397x Horsham. Piries Place car park -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-150601-111657001

Sunday parking charges could be introduced in Horsham town centre under plans being considered by the council.

Currently Horsham District Council managed car parks are free on Sundays and bank holidays, but a new flat rate of £1.50 a day is listed as one of three potential actions to help plug future budget deficits.

This could bring in an extra £140,000 a year and £560,000 over a four-year period from next year, assuming demand remains the same.

According to a report discussed at Full Council last night (Wednesday December 9) the council could face a projected £3.3m net deficit in its revenue budget in the 2019/20 financial year.

Brian Donnelly (Con, Pulborough and Coldwaltham), cabinet member for finance and assets, said: “You will see for example an area that will be investigated is charging for Sunday parking and public holiday parking at £1.50 a day and that will be the subject of debate.”

The two other potential measures included in the report are an increase in HDC’s council tax precept of either one or two per cent, and plans to collect general waste bins every fortnight rather than weekly.

A one per cent rise in the precept every year from 2016/17 to 2019/20 could raise a cumulative £800,000, while a two per cent rise in just 2016/17 would bring in an extra £640,000 over the four year period.

Collecting rubbish fortnightly from 2017/18 could save the council £400,000 a year, and £1.2m over three years.

The Cabinet is reviewing all the options and once proposals are developed they will be brought to Full Council.

The report on the Medium Term Financial Strategy also suggests ‘options will need to be considered during 2016/17 of ceasing some discretionary services to help close the projected budget deficits’.

Mr Donnelly added: “The nub of the matter is while the council is in a sound financial situation the next four years could be very difficult.”

He said that parking charges and others were regularly benchmarked against the levels set by other councils, while they had frozen their part of council tax for the last six years something he thought was probably unprecedented across the country.

HDC is also awaiting the detail of announcements made in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and how it will affect its finances.

What do you think of parking charges on Sundays and bank holidays? Comment below or email the newsdesk.

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