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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 15/09/2003
APPENDIX H - CAR PARKING TARIFFS REVIEW



Summary & Purpose
The purpose of this report is to review the fees and charges in the Council’s off-street Pay and Display car parks.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX H
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

ENVIRONMENT AND LEISURE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE
15TH SEPTEMBER 2003
CORPORATE OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE 23RD SEPTEMBER 2003


_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
CAR PARKING TARIFFS REVIEW
[Wards Affected: All]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The purpose of this report is to review the fees and charges in the Council’s off-street Pay and Display car parks.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
N/A
Positive
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive
Positive

The prudent management of the Council’s parking stock through carefully structured tariffs can influence the retail and social vitality of the town centres and their economy, the level of traffic movement and congestion and the funds available to support other services that benefit the whole community.

E-Government implications:

Information on revised fees and charges will be posted on the Council’s web site.

Resource and legal implications:

Public notices will need to be posted in local newspapers and in each car park giving Notice of Amendment to the Waverley Borough Council Off-Street Parking Places Order. There will be resource implications in the publishing of notices, production and posting of revised tariff boards, and the re-programming of Pay and Display machines. There are financial implications which will be detailed in the report.
_________________________________________________________________________

Background

This report was considered by the Executive at its meeting on 1st September 2003. The Executive agreed to refer the report to both the Corporate and Environment and Leisure Overview and Scrutiny Committees for consideration at their respective September meetings.

Introduction

1. Originally, the parking tariffs were carefully structured across the designated short, medium and long-term car parks, to make it more economic for long-stay parkers to use medium and long-term car parks, so releasing the town centre short-stay spaces for the ready availability and regular turnover of shoppers and other short stay needs. This maximised both the space available and the income generated from short-stay use and reduced avoidable traffic movements by commuters in the town centres.

Town Centre Car Parks

2. The charges for parking periods of up to four hours in town centre car parks, defined as ‘shoppers’ charges, have remained frozen, not in real value but in actual monetary costs, since April 1998, with the exception of the fourth hour of parking which was increased by 10p in April 2002. Cumulative inflation in that period is estimated to be approximately 15%. The cost of short-stay parking has therefore, in real terms, progressively reduced over that period.

3. The proposed charges generally restore the effects of inflation since 'shoppers' short-stay charges were effectively frozen in 1998 (1997 in the case of the 2-hour 50p charge).

Long-Stay Car Parks

4. The only Long-Stay Car Parks in which prices were increased during the last review were Croft Road, Godalming, and Upper Hart, Farnham. Moderate increases are now proposed for the remaining Long-Stay Car Parks.

5. Some charges will be further adjusted to better manage the parking stock. It is recommended that Upper Hart car park charges be adjusted to restore an appropriate differential with Lower Hart Car Park, as existed up to 31st March 2003. St James and Riverside 1 operate to capacity throughout the day and adjustments are proposed to reflect their convenience to the Town Centre, and establish a differential with Riverside 2 which is currently underused.

Season Tickets

6. Waverley’s Car Park Strategy (objective 2.5) states that ‘The Council will standardise the rate of discount for all Season Tickets issued throughout the Borough, and will progressively reduce the level of discount. In February 2002, The Council agreed to reduce the discount from 20% to 10%. However, in some cases the discount offered in long-stay car parks has remained at a higher level in order to retain a reasonable differential with Season Ticket rates where offered in Town-Centre Car Parks. The increase in Town-Centre Car Parks now proposed provides the opportunity for the discount for all Season Tickets to be standardised, whilst retaining a reasonable differential between the various Car Parks.

7. Accordingly, the Season Ticket charges recommended are all based on a discount of 10% of the proposed 5-day, 8-hour Pay and Display charge. The new Season Ticket rates will of course not apply until 1st April 2004.

Management Costs

8. Payment for the car park management service (patrolling and cash collection) is increased annually in line with an inflation formula. Staff costs, energy costs (lighting and machines), maintenance and repairs have also increased in line with, or above, the national inflation index. Business rates payable on parking income have followed a similar pattern. It could be argued that the increased costs of providing the service should be reflected in the charges for that service.

The Car Parking Strategy

9. In its Car Parking Strategy, intended to cover the period 2000 – 2005, the Council pledged (Objective 2.2); “the Council will endeavour not to increase, in real terms, the short-term shopper charge rate in car parks during the life of the Strategy.”

10. It has been determined that a substantial number of road movements are parking related in our busy towns. The Car Parking Strategy recognises the key influence parking has in managing the demand for car use. Work is now therefore underway in the production of Town Centre Parking Management Plans for Waverley.

Audit Report

11. In the 2001-02 Audit Management Report, the Auditor recognised the financial pressures facing Waverley and suggested that the Council sought to maximise its income from assets, such as car parks, to address those pressures.

Resource Implications

12.1 Income

An illustration of the revenue implications of tariff changes which broadly meet the above criteria is contained at Annexe 1. Over 80% of parking purchases in short-stay car parks are for periods of 2 hours or less. Any more significant increases in these charges, above the level of inflation, may cause customers to change their parking purchases, e.g. many who currently purchase 2 hours of parking whilst the charge is a modest one, will often purchase the minimum period if the 2 hour charge is too high. It is therefore difficult to estimate, with any certainty, the revenue implications of larger increases in hourly rates. If levels of income above that projected at Annexe 1 are sought to meet other spending priorities, such increases in tariffs may need to be introduced progressively over a number of years. The figures quoted at Annexe 1 are full-year figures. It is anticipated that revised tariffs could be introduced, from 1st November 2003, subject to approval through the democratic process.

12.2 Expenditure

A sum of 5,000 in provided for annually in the revenue estimates for Car Parks, specifically for the cost of tariff changes. It is estimated that the costs of advertising, revised tariff boards and reprogramming of machines can be contained within that sum.

Conclusion

13. It is concluded that the parking fees and charges should be revised to:

i) restore the effects of inflation in costs since April 1998;

ii) restore the tariff structure to more effectively define and control short, medium and long-term parking;

iii) use our assets, to the best advantage of the council tax payer in general, in support of the Council’s spending priorities, in accordance with the advice of the Auditor and,

iv) comply with the objectives of the Car Parking Strategy.

Executive – 1st September 2003

It was the view of the Executive that pay and display and contract parking charges should be revised with effect from 1st November 2003. It was their intention to request the two Overview and Scrutiny Committees to explore various proposals for achieving the increase in charges. Supplementary information to facilitate such discussion is being circulated to the Overview and Scrutiny Committees.

Recommendation

It is recommended that the Committee explores the proposals for achieving the increase in car parking charges and reports back to the Executive, at its meeting on 30th September, with any comments or observations.
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Background Papers (DoEL)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mr R Ellks Telephone: 01483 523411
E-mail: rellks@waverley.gov.uk

Mr B Long Telephone: 01483 523253
E-mail: blong@waverley.gov.uk




comms/o&s3/03-04/023