Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council’s Cabinet has declared its intention to remove all new parking charges from its budget proposals for 2023/2024.
The proposed charges were one of a number of measures to save around £9.5 million and allow the Council to produce a balanced budget.
The shortfall has been caused by Government funding not matching the current high level of inflation and very high demand for services, particularly in caring for vulnerable children and the elderly.
The proposed budget and Council fees and charges have been out to consultation with the public and businesses since December 21.
Following analysis of the feedback so far, the Council’s Cabinet has decided to exclude all new parking charges from the proposals, along with proposed increases for residents’ parking permits, bulky waste, replacement bins and charges for using toilets.
Further work will take place to update the proposals and address the financial shortfall ahead of the final budget proposals to be discussed by the Cabinet and Borough Council next month.
Council Leader Cllr Mary Lanigan said:
“The reason for our consultation is to allow residents and businesses to have their say. From the many replies we have received it is clear that people do not want these new fees so we will take them out of our budget proposals.
“We didn’t want to bring in charges like this but we have no choice but to consult on them as an option as the funding we receive from central Government falls well short of the increased costs from inflation and the unprecedented demand for our services.
“We have seen a huge increase in the number of children and the elderly requiring our care and support. We can’t ignore this; they have no-one else to turn to.
“The Government has talked about a 9% increase in spending power – that figure is dependent on Council Tax bills going up by 5%.
“Since 2010, we have had to find savings of around £100m and, as a result, we have around 1,000 fewer staff, but the demand for our services continues to grow.
“This year, with inflation and demand for services, we have been left with a £9.5m shortfall. It is a legal duty to produce a balanced budget so we have no choice but to make some unpalatable decisions about how we achieve this.”