Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Tendring: Free parking scheme boosts business

09:00 23 February 2013

Clacton High Street

Clacton High Street

AN INNOVATIVE free parking scheme is being hailed a success after businesses said they have seen a significant increase in footfall.

Tendring District Council (TDC) is set to continue the popular initiative which allows people to use their car parks for 12 hours during the day completely free of charge.

A survey carried out by the local authority on hundreds of businesses found that around 50% had noticed a higher footfall through their town centres since the free permits were issued to households.

And approximately 30% of businesses said they noticed an increase in the number of customers coming through their doors.

TDC introduced the scheme at the end of July last year. Every council tax paying household in the district was issued with a free parking permit to use at any of the council’s 25 car parks from 10am to midnight.

A report by officers at TDC will go before cabinet members next week to discuss the continuation of the scheme for the next 12 months.

It states that “information so far from businesses is that Tendring is reversing national trends for shops”.

Leader of TDC Peter Halliday said the scheme has already been factored into this year’s budget, with £350,000 set aside, and if it continues to be successful and finances remain stable, there is no reason for it to be cancelled.

Reacting to the survey results, he said: “It’s great news. When those who benefit from a scheme tell you it’s actually working it has to be good news.”

He added: “There is a cost but there is a benefit and we have to realise that supporting business is key to keeping income from business rates at the level it is now. We don’t want to lose anymore businesses.

“This was in our manifesto pledge. We understand the importance of getting people into the town centres.

“The results might not come straight away but they do eventually. It’s now down to the shop keepers to relieve people of their money.”

According to the report, income from car park fees for 2012/13 is £291,873 compared to £422,291 the year before.

But the reduction is “significantly less” than anticipated and Mr Halliday confirmed income was steady in spite of the scheme.

Mr Halliday said: “It’s prudent budget management with what we have available and about making sure we bring benefits to residents and businesses alike.”

For other councils considering a similar scheme, Mr Halliday said: “It has to be considered in their all round finances. We have been able to do this because when the cuts were announced three years ago, we reacted very quickly and made changes.

“Anybody trying to do it now, if they haven’t already made that leap of faith, will struggle.

“It has to be done when the time is right and when you can afford it.”

He said the council may look to tweak the current conditions to ensure there is a balance between residents, shoppers and visitors benefiting from the scheme.

0 comments

Rescue teams co-ordinating the search for a missing kayaker off the Jaywick coastline. Picture: RNLI

A major sea rescue operation at Clacton launched after a kayaker went missing on Sunday evening has been called off after the discovery of a body.

Elliott Thompson. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary.

A Stowmarket man has been reported missing to police.

Jousting at Framlingham Castle. Two magnificent knights on horseback clash in an epic battle of bravery and honour as Framlingham Castle hosts its first ever medieval joust.

Two knights on horseback clashed in a battle of bravery and honour as Framlingham Castle hosted its first medieval joust.

Brian Williams

Tributes have been paid to a Suffolk rugby stalwart who dedicated his time to promoting grassroots rugby in the region and across England.

Brightlingsea Regatta fun and games at Sunday afternoon
22/7/2016 Kallum Jagger

Thousands made a splash at the Brightlingsea Regatta this weekend, taking to the water in a range of motor boats.

BHS is closing down in Ipswich

BHS staff in Ipswich have still not been told when the store will close, the Star understands.

George Blagden in Versailles as  Louis XIV  (C) Canal +

He is television’s latest heart-throb, playing a starring role in the BBC’s steamy drama series Versailles.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24