Free Saturday parking at Ramsgate multi-storey to be axed

Free parking at the multi-storey ends in April

Free Saturday parking at the Royal Harbour (Leopold Street) multi-storey will come to an end by April.

Ramsgate Town Council voted against continuing to subsidise the free parking, deciding the money would be better used for other services.

At a meeting last month it was agree: “Ramsgate Town Council to no longer pay TDC for free parking on Saturdays at the Royal Harbour Car Park. The money saved to be used elsewhere for the benefit of the residents of Ramsgate.”

Town mayor Trevor Shonk voted against the proposal.

According to Thanet council documents for a Cabinet members meeting on Tuesday (January 16): “Free Saturday parking will revert to Cannon Road car park from 1 April 2018.”

Town and district councillor Rev Stuart Piper said: “RTC has been paying TDC £9,000 per year for the ‘free’ parking. Initially TDC requested £15,000 per year for the next two years and then offered a decrease, meaning £27000 over two years.

“This increase, together with losses of other funds, means that RTC will be some £80,000 short next year. A choice had to be made which is not easy but the money can be used on other benefits for the town.”

Cannon Road has 230 spaces, including 5 disabled bays. Leopold Street has 394 spaces, including 22 disabled bays and 8 parent and child bays.

Fees and charges

Fees and charges for 2018/19 agreed by Thanet council include  increases in some parking costs,cemetery and crematorium charges and more asset sales.

The measures are deemed necessary as the authority faces yet another cut in its annual central government grant.

A report to members warns the Revenue Support Grant (RSG) from central government is to fall to £809,000 for 2018-19 compared to £1.446m for 2017-18.

The grant has been slashed repeatedly in the last few years.

For 2013/14 the grant was £6.636m. in 2014/15 it fell to £5.131m and for 2015-16 this was reduced to £3.630m.

In 2016-17 the grant was £2.645m but this is expected to go down to just £98,000 in 2019-20 and it is predicted there will be no central government grant from 2020-21.

The budget for the coming year will be £16.8million. In 2012/13 the budget was in the region of £21.5million and included central government revenue grants of around £11 million. The predicted budget for 2020/21  is around £16.5 million without any central government revenue grants.

Raising funds

The loss of funding means local authorities have to look at other ways of raising funds through fees and charges, asset sales and even schemes like the soon to be launched Thanet lottery.

Thanet council is also proposing to raise its share of council tax by almost 3 per cent.

Cabinet members will discuss proposals for the 2.99% hike, and the details of the 2018/19 budget, on January 16.

The rise would equate to an extra £6.57 a year for a Band D household.

8 Comments

  1. What about the swimming pool it’s already full on Saturdays and the town will decline more shops will close I work in wilko and I say to customer that on Saturday. It is free parking in the R H car park . well done RTC and TDC what are you going to spend the money please

  2. When I used to work in retail in Ramsgate town center, many of our customers said that the only reason they came into town on a Saturday was because of the free parking. They said that they would just go to Westwood Cross where it was free to park plus they could get a Mcdonalds.
    The problem is that TDC don’t have any credibility and are just seen as a bunch of penny pinching tightwads who have made monumental mistakes in the past and are still trying to pay for them (£4.5 million for compensation to live animal exporters for one).

  3. Well I will no longer be shopping in Ramsgate if I have to pay to park. Cannon Road will not be able to offer enough spaces due to the pool next door. Thanks RTC I bet I am not the only one not giving my money to local businesses because of you! Less money to go in the kitty not more!

  4. How can central government keep cutting funding like this? We are continuing paying more, hand over fist, for less and less?

  5. At Westwood Cross, parking fees are covered by increased prices on what people buy there. Just as adverts on commercial television are paid for by price increases on the products advertised. Do commercial enterprises really ever give things away for nothing?

    • Yes of course we pay more for our shopping there, but it’s the psychological thing of not putting your money in a ticket machine.
      Of course, if TDC only have two parking enforcement officers covering the whole of Thanet (all the others are suspended on full pay pending an investigation) then you will be very unlucky to get a ticket.

  6. If TDC are going to start charging again will they please clean up the stinking lifts and staircase first

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