Thursday, June 19, 2008

Margate car parking more expensive than Central London

Up to nine times more expensive!

One of the great mysteries to me as an observer of local issues, is our local Tory Council, they seem extremely hostile to local retail business, which is particularly apparent when you look at local parking policy.

Now I personally have a theory that in the same way, we read in the winter that network rail encounter the wrong sort of leaves, I reckon we have the wrong sort of Tories, having read that the borough of Westminster, controlled I believe by Tories, have introduced reduced parking charges as low as 20 pence an hour, a fraction of the £1.80 per hour extortion demanded by Sandy Ezekiel's administration.

Still it's not all bad news, costs will not have arisen for Sandys advisers or any other council "officers" as they will continue to hog most of the parking spaces in the Mill Lane car park for free, leaving us the paying public no choice but to park in Cecil Square.

Stupidly I thought I would ring, the council and ask whether the new extortionate prices introduced in April, had resulted in improved revenue, not surprisingly I was informed, that they wouldn't have any figures until the end of the year. Assuming this was just as someone junior, I was speaking to, it's still very worrying, that the culture of a revenue collecting department is so removed from normal business practice.

I am sure that local retail businesses, would have figures which indicate their turnover on a weekly basis it's a pity the council is not more businesslike.

see bbc story


  1. Somerset carpark upper deck had only 20 cars parked there, today on a thurs at 2.00pm. Take out the blue badge holders, then tdc is reciving very little reveune. The lower deck was full with permit holders. The parking charges are affecting our business, and need to changed now, back to realistic levels that locals can afford. This encourages people back to our town centres, helps local business and regeneration, and most importantly from the council's view increase parking revenue. TDC employee's should not be allowed to continue free parking at the expense of the ratepayer, and should contibute something.The attitude, that Tdc own the carparks, and can do what we want with them is just plain arrogance towards the wishes of the ratepayers.

  2. 7.44pm ment say SOMERFIELD CARPARK. This carpark has become increasingly empty since the parking charge increases.

  3. Actually Westminster is a typical Tory borough where the rule is the posher the area,the richer the residents, the cheaper the parking. All paid for by disposal of public assets (cemetaries, housing etc.) Perhaps when TDC disposes of our assets , the parking charges will go down.

  4. I think the problem is the mode of governance (which frankly is utterly lacking in professionalism). I have some experience working in and with non-profit groups of which it seems to me there are two types. The first are well organised, efficient and in touch on the whole they do fairly well. The other type is like TDC and has problems with funding, staff and outcomes often leading to an end of their own existance.

    This is not always the case, obviousely. The real world is not so cut and dry. Yet it seems to me that we the public have been blinded by party politics and have elected ourselves a bunch of hopeless lossers not fit for the job.

    In my opinion the biggest threat to the hope of ever getting sensible actions from the council is that it doesn't matter. If things go badly some high paid paper pusher gets to do a lot of number juggling and if the council cock things up it still does not mater so long as the voters don't get hold of the facts.

    Frankly there should be a procedure for the public to force a full election and a process whereby specific councillors can be "fired" without hope of being able to stand for at least five years. Ideally there should also be a non voting executive (paid obviously) to inject some professionalism back into the council. That's what any successful groups do why not councillors?

    Failing that some serious competition for those places on the council would not go amiss.

  5. Im not so sure about your idea of having firing mechanisms on Councillors. A similar proposal has been put up regarding MPs and where say a certain proportion sign a petition, an MP would be forced to have a by-election for their seats. Of course that could easily be abused in extremely marginal seats, where there could be loads of such actions. An incredibly marginal seat immediately after a General Election would have to defend itself again. That would also seem to ignore the fact they had just been elected by popular mandate. If the peopl;e didnt want that candidate why didnt they vote to ensure that didnt happen?

    Im afraid that idea is far too open to abuse.

  6. I am well aware of the problems for car parking in Thanet and the cost to the local ratepayers, blaming council employees is not the answer they do contribute to the charges via payment through their departments which comes out of the whole budget for the council and most would pay if asked to do so. The biggest problem is that people have to travel to work and the car for many officers is part of their working requirement if those that did not use the car during the day as they are strictly office bound used Public Transport then at least 125 spaces would be freed up for cash paying parkers. The main point of my response is that all ratepayers in the district should be given a concession of one hour via a disc on the car allowing them a free hour of parking then pay for any subsequent time this would give the shops and the users freedom of choice, not all would use the concession, it would not be difficult to administer and would be cost effective. As it stands at the moment the Council loses money on parking the cost of personnel, (enforcement officers) machinery (cameras, radios etc.) and operators and of course the overpaid managers asll cost tons of money. The Mill Lane car park is only rented on long term lease by the council and it has cost a fortune to maintain as it was "Jerry" built in the first place the only people making money are the Landlords. It was gross incompetency on the part of the old council who originally agreed to the Landlord Tenant agreement. Let the Council tell the taxpayer how much it all costs and how much it is likely to cost in the future!
    Phantom Blogger

  7. Of course what we have is a news item that is on the level of a 'Ryan Air' advert. lowest cost, just try to book one!

  8. If tdc looses money on parking, then it illustartes the bad management within. It should reduce charges to encourage more people to use it's carparks. This gains more revenue. TDC as a unique monopoly is loosing returns due to fact locals are priced out, and is also faced with diminishing vistor numbers due to fuel costs etc. The Council is damaging our local economy, and does not have the imagination to have a differential pricing structure for it's carparks, ie winter/summer pricing. And there is no excuse for the Tdc's employees not using Thanet's public transport system, rather they are currently being encouraged to use their cars and enjoy a very valuable concession, that other members of the public have to pay.