Decision due on proposed increase in parking charges in East Lindsey
A DECISION is to be made next week on whether parking charges in East Lindsey should be increased.
Councillors will meet next Wednesday to decide whether to approve proposals to increase car parking charges from the new financial year.
The proposals, if approved, will see a standardisation of fees across the district, Sunday charges and the district's currently free car parks will be chargeable after the first hour.
The council has previously defended the proposals, stating the rises are the first since 2008 and if income is not increased, the council would need to consider increasing council tax instead.
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The changes could be worth an extra £520,000 a year for the council.
But Jill Makinson-Sanders, district councillor for the Louth St Mary's ward, has put a motion forward to the council calling for the proposals to be put on hold until detailed research has been carried out into the full economic impact on each town.
She told the Target: "Our market towns are the lifeblood of inland East Lindsey and parking is a vital ingredient of our economic life.
"Louth town council is a member of Action for Market Towns and having attended a lot of their events I know that if we want to keep the vitality and vibrancy, we have to understand better exactly what we are dealing with.
"Yorkshire Forward's Renaissance Market Town programme produced a report on how parking can be managed in the region's market towns and East Lindsey should use them as an example.
"They look at the economic drivers for the different towns, assess the parking needs of residents, businesses and visitors and then come up with well informed decisions.
"If East Lindsey wants our towns to thrive and to remain valuable tourism assets, we should be using this template before we just put up prices."
In Louth, traders launched a petition in November which is still available to sign at several business premises in the town.
It is hoped the petition will be presented at the full council meeting next Wednesday.
Gary Denniss, of M and G Designs, on Little Eastgate, said: "I have over 1,700 signatures and that's just from my petition here.
"Everybody who has signed it has responded the same way, saying don't let them ruin our town as has happened elsewhere."