Agenda item

Sales, Fees and Charges (including Car Parking) 2022/23

To consider and provide a recommendation to Cabinet on the proposals set out in the attached report. 


Jane Fineman, Head of Finance, Procurement and Parking introduced the report as set out in the agenda.


Registered Speakers:


Mr Richard Barsley – Member of the Public

Cllr Rodney Atkins (statement read)

Cllr Raymond Moon

Cllr Matthew Bailey

Cllr Suzanne Wakeman


Prior to this item being opened for discussion and questions, Councillor Hickey stated that he had set the agenda to fix the budget deficit this year.  The budgeting process, due to start soon, would go through a full bottom up consultation process. 


Discussion and questions from Members including the following:


-       Parking enforcement in Paddock Wood during the pandemic had been difficult.  Normally, two Civic Enforcements Officers (CEO’s) would have been deployed in Paddock Wood and the surrounding areas.  During the pandemic, the sharing of vehicles was prohibited and it was impractical to send two CEO’s in separate cars.  However, since June normal practice had resumed, with one CEO concentrating on the car park, the other on Commercial Road.

-       If requested, additional enforcement was available.

-       Footway parking adjacent to double yellow lines was something the Council could also enforce.  Where no double yellow lines existed was currently a matter for the police.  However, the Council were exploring with the police possible measures to help tackle this.  Also discussions with Kent County Council were suggested about possible physical measures e.g. bollards, that would prevent footway parking. 

-       The current cashless system for car parking payments was leading edge but it was recognised, that due to the number of options available this could be confusing for customers.  However, the method customers used tended to be an even split between the various options, so to remove one would be difficult to justify. 

-       To help simplify the procedure the Council were looking at different signing options. 

-       Car park use in Paddock Wood in relation to the number of hours stayed was broken down as follows (2021 figures):

o   up to 1 hour = over 80,000

o   up to 2 hours – 15,000

o   up to 3 hours = 2,400

o   up to 4 hours = 1,700

o   up to 6 hours = 1,800

-       Given the level of 1 hour users, this would be the best source of income for the Council.  Increasing the charges for the longer stays would not generate sufficient income to cover the associated maintenance and enforcement costs.

-       It was commented that Paddock Wood did not have any vacant shops, the only empty premises was currently under offer.

-       Car parking charges either using Ringo or the machines were the same. 

-       Some Members could not support the increase in charges, especially given the earlier comments about not including the increased use of car parking in the forecasting.  It was understood there were reasons for prudence due to the pandemic, but given the level of public opposition it would be better to wait until later in the year before introducing any price increases.

-       An internet campaign against Dunorlan charges had been going for about 48 hours already had 800 signatures which reinforced the view that increases should not be supported. 

-       A lack of public consultation was also given as a reason the recommendations should not be supported. 

-       It was noted that there were no parking charges in Cranbrook.  The reason being that the Parish Council paid the business rates for the car park which neutralised the cost impact on TWBC.  Perhaps something along these lines could be explored for Paddock Wood.

-       The introduction of parking charges at Dunorlan Park was premature and further discussions with interested parties should take place before any decision was taken.  Councillor Pound proposed that Appendix E of the report (which provided details of the proposed charges for Dunorlan Park) be removed. 

-       The Council was in contract for Grounds Maintenance, so it was contractually committed to Dunorlan Park for the term of the contract.  The contract was indexed linked so the Council would have to bear the additional cost regardless of any decisions Members made on whether to introduce charging. 


A recorded vote was requested:


Cllr Brice – For                                                Cllr Pound - For

Cllr Dawlings – Against                                   Cllr Rogers - For

Cllr Goodship – Against                                  Cllr Hayward - For

Cllr Hall – For                                                  Cllr Hayward - For

Cllr Morton – For


For = 7

Against = 2

Abstain = 0


RESOLVED – That Appendix E be removed from the recommendations.  That subject to the removal of Appendix E, the recommendations to Cabinet  as set out in the report be supported. 



Supporting documents: