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Wiltshire Council asks Government for car park money

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As part of its review into the county’s car parking service, Wiltshire Council has asked the Government to consider giving up the rates they charge on car parks so residents can pay less to use them.

Currently, the Government charges Wiltshire Council £847,000 a year in Non Domestic Rates for its car parks, a cost that is entirely paid for by car park users. If the Government agrees to this request the savings will be passed onto the public and will allow for parking charges to be reduced.

John Thomson, in his role as Wiltshire Council cabinet member for highways and transport has written to secretary of state for communities and local government, Eric Pickles MP to make the request.

John said, “The Department for Communities and Local Government has been vocal in promoting better and cheaper parking so I hope they will carefully consider our request.

“As part of our review into the service we are looking at all options to ensure the right solution is put in place for our communities and residents. If they haven’t done so already, I encourage everyone to have a look at our consultation and have their say on this important issue.”

Wiltshire Council’s car parking consultation launched on 27th October and the outcome could see a move away from the current charging for parking based on four bands. Options have been presented based on individual car parks or town assessments.

These options use factors such as usage of car parks, location, as well as looking at the wider economic and environmental issues. This approach gives the council greater ability to manage local car parking demand and supply.

The review also looks at  a number of charging options, including first hour free parking, free after 4.00pm, Sunday charges, or evening charges as tools to enhance local communities’ ability to use their local services.

The consultation is taking place in two stages.  On 27th October the strategy document and 14 town profiles were available for people to comment on and on Monday 10th November the survey and charging summary went live. The consultation will remain open until  16th January 2015.

The consultation can be found at consult.wiltshire.gov.uk/portal