The Labour Group on Swale Borough Council called for a period trial when parking would be free on Saturdays in the three town centres of Sheerness, Sittingbourne and Faversham. The plan is to encourage and stimulate the local economies of the three areas and to recognise the enormous contribution that motorists make to the Swale Borough Council finances.
The Group’s Spokesman on Highways and Transport issues, Ghlin Whelan says
“The Council is expecting a surplus on parking in the next financial year of over £850,000. This is effectively a “parking tax” and instead of putting it all away in reserves the council should be using some of this income to help local residents and also local businesses. What we are proposing is to use some of this surplus to create an amnesty on parking fees, in the first place for Saturday shoppers. In this financial year, we are proposing a three month trial. Were it to help our local town centre businesses, we would then bring it forward as a permanent part of the budget process. The Council has reserves of over £11 million and we believe the Council should start using this for the benefit of the community.”