Parking charges in Great Yarmouth to go up as council rubber stamps ‘bold’ budget

Great Yarmouth Town Hall.
Photo: Andy Darnell Great Yarmouth Town Hall. Photo: Andy Darnell

Saturday, February 22, 2014
1:35 PM

Great Yarmouth’s Conservative councillors have pledged to cut council tax, freeze car parking charges and look again at shared management if they are in power.

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The borough council’s revenue budget for 2014/15 was approved at full council this week, but not before the Tory opposition laid out a raft of proposed amendments, including slashing council tax by 2pc.

Their “alternative vision”, which will shape their manifesto ahead of the May elections, would, they claim, generate more income in the long run. Key proposals include -

nIntroducing two hours free parking in town centre car parks;

nFreeze car parking charges on the seafront;

nRemove charges at Caister car park;

nGive £500 of each councillor’s £2,000 ward budget to the Environmental; Rangers, paying for a monthly blitz on borough streets.

The £500,000 cost incurred could be taken from the borough council’s £5.5m reserves, argued the Conservatives adding that they would be able to secure an extra £170,000 funding from the central government’s Efficient Support Grant by looking again at shared management.

Speaking at the budget debate on Tuesday night, senior Conservative councillor Barry Coleman accused the Labour leadership of a “complete lack of original thought”.

“Do we sit back, moan and increase taxation and charges or do we break free, think positively and give everyone in the borough a helping hand to create a prosperous community?” he said.

“I think most will go for the latter.”

While the Tories claimed their way would “kick start” a high street renaissance and stimulate economic growth, Labour leader of the Great Yarmouth Borough Council Trevor Wainwright denounced it as “smoke and mirrors”.

“Councillor Coleman is throwing percentages about like they are confetti,” said Mr Wainwright.

“What we’ve presented is a bold budget which builds on the progress made in 2013/14 which saw major restructuring and a slimmed down borough council and a renegotiation of the contract with GY Borough Services - a contract that your administration hadn’t looked at in any detail for 12 years.

“At the same time we’re building council houses in the borough 
for the first time in 20 years and we’re investing in the Marina 
Centre after you allowed it to deteriorate.”

Arguing GYBC was facing a tough financial future mainly because of the “unfair” central Government funding - the council is receiving £7,023,364 in 2014/15, down 13.8pc on the £8,146,803 in 2013-14 not including the efficiency support grant, the Labour leaders repeated their warning harder times were ahead.

Councillor Brian Walker, deputy leader and cabinet member of resources, said: “Things certainly aren’t going to get easier. In fact, it’s going to get much worse.

“We’ve got to recognise that the people of Great Yarmouth are suffering tremendously under this government.”

Mr Walker added that work on the 2015/16 budget has now started, adding a stark warning: “I can assure the council that nothing is sacred. We will be looking at every single service from scratch.”

The cash-strapped has already revealed it is preparing to ask residents about their priorities ahead of radical cost-cutting exercises which would see non-statutory services like grounds maintenance or toilets at risk.

9 comments

  • As pointed out the Tories did a fantastic job running NCC into the ground, does anyone seriously believe they could deliver cuts to council tax with the cuts the borough faces from central government? This sounds more like an unfunded wishlist with a promise to sell Yarmouth down the river. I'd rather have decisions about Yarmouth made in Yarmouth, not in South Lincs, Breckland or anywhere else the Tories want running our borough.

    Report this comment

    Sapere Aude

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • " Two hours free parking in town centre car parks", say the conservatives. Why did they not do this when they were in power. Unbelievable !

    Report this comment

    vegas

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • If GYBC had not sat back and allowed umpteen family homes to be turned over to flats for immigrants and had tried to see just where this tide of new residents is coming from GY would not need more council houses-and the handful built is a PR stunt. If there is money in reserve lets see the pavements and streets where the council tax payers live being fixed, parking fees reduced to give us an incentive to shop in an almost shopless town, Caister council tax payers being given parity with Gorleston residents who have a number of free carparks whilst a village of around 8000 people has to pay the same charges as holiday makers to find somewhere to park and use local shops or the library. Labour GY councils always leech off the non urban residents of the borough to pander to the town and Gorleston voters.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • Everybody pays more under labour as they are unable to do sums, plus they waste more. Labour gets us in debt conservatives get us out (apart from NCC of course)

    Report this comment

    Sweet cheeks

    Saturday, February 22, 2014

  • " Two hours free parking in town centre car parks", say the conservatives. Why did they not do this when they were in power. Unbelievable !

    Report this comment

    vegas

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

  • Good point Vegas. But of they can do it then it would give much needed confidence to our retailers. Two hours free parking would increase footfall. Instead we are faced with yet another hike in prices and less people affording to pay for parking so less people shopping in town centres.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • What is the point of free parking when there are very few shops to go to in Yarmouth Market Place. If they wanted to save real money they could clamp down on their tenants on the way they look after their homes. I see it time and again the work that has to be done when tenants move out to make them habitable again. But one has to smile at this Council. What did we have last week down our street. A gang of three men edging the grass verges. Looked nice when they were finished but was it really necessary? But here we are again with a Labour led council whose only idea in life is to shut everything down and as usual it started with the loos. The last time they were in power I remember the outcry about the loos being closed at the Marina Centre. Nothing changes does it.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Monday, February 24, 2014

  • H'mm - another council that sees motorists as 'cash-cows' rather than an economic conduit which brings shoppers & tourists to the town.

    Report this comment

    Gorleston-Ex-Pat

    Thursday, February 27, 2014

  • In these cash strapped times, why are we building council houses? A total waste of time and money - there are plenty of properties available to rent in the private sector.

    Report this comment

    Norfolk John

    Sunday, February 23, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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