Monday, 19 December 2011


Amid all the recent angst and comment regarding parking charges across the island, it seems pertinent to remind all of the nature of the parking review which was underway when the Conservative administration left office on 8 December.

Parking had been withdrawn from the annual fees and charges review, and a changed parking regime was to be consulted with members and others across the island in January 2012; for public consultation after presentation to Cabinet in March, for implementation in June.

The highlights of this review were:

# parking to be more demand led

# free parking to be available to help traders every Saturday of the year in one car park in each of the towns: Alpha Road, Birchington; Harold Road, for Northdown Road; Mill Lane, Margate; Cannon Road Ramsgate; Vere Road Broadstairs

# this represents an affordable model at a time of restricted budgets, costing £12,000 approx to the parking budget

Chris Wells, Shadow Cabinet Member for Communities added:

‘We left in place a simple, affordable model for parking, ready to be consulted upon for implementation next year.  In addition the parking review was set to investigate what could be additionally done to assist lives of residents near and around the QEQM Hospital, many of whose lives have been reduced to misery by the hospital’s poor management of their own parking facilities.  I hope the incoming administration has the common sense to adopt these simple proposals, and not skew them in favour of particular areas of the island for political reasons.’


  1. Conservative Councillors, Simon Day and Keith Coleman-Cooke, fully support the Independent parking motion; are they the only members of Thanet's unique version of the blue party that have actually read the Mary Portas Report?

    Without more affordable parking in thanet, shops are at greater risk of closing, costing us far more due loss of business rates etc.

    Birchington is not Town, it is a village, and it has more in common with Minster and westgate, than it does with Margate. We are looking at ways of helping shop keepers in the whole of Thanet, not just a couple of roads in a small part of Margate!

  2. The missing bit, Michael:

    For information:

    # the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking in Birchington car parks would be a little under £10,000

    # the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking for Birchington High Street as well would be more than £40,000

    # the cost of implementing 30 minutes initial free car parking across the island would be £233,000; more than 43% of car parking income

    # these sums would have to be made up from council tax increases, or reduced budgets elsewhere

  3. The figures, I assure you, are entirely accurate, and I am somewhat surprised to hear Cllr Worrow not acknowledging that, given he had a private briefing on the subject last week, which would have presented those figures to him. He may not like the conclusions, but should really acknowledge their existence.

    The free parking figures are simply derived. If you take the least used car parks on a Saturday in each of the four towns and one village (editing error there for which I apologise), then the cost of making them available is going to be less than opening the currently more popular car parks – this is not rocket science.

    This is entirely in line with Mary Portas thinking, in making car parking available cheaper in and around town (and one village) centres to encourage trade on the traditionally busiest shopping day each week. If it works, and the budget allows, it could be further extended over time, whilst keeping the overall budget balance.

    I repeat, we left in place a plan to help 5 shopping areas, which costs only marginally more than the cost of helping one promoted at full council.

  4. So Chris please explain to me what part of

    "# the cost of implementing 30 minutes free parking for Birchington High Street as well would be more than £40,000".

    was I mistaken on.


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