February 21, 2016
Council approves 10% hike in Burnham and Highbridge parking costs

Parking charges in Burnham-On-Sea and Highbridge will rise by 10 per cent from April after Sedgemoor District Council approved the hike this week.

In a bid to gain an extra £90,000 in revenue funding, Sedgemoor's Executive has this week voted through a package of measures which will raise car parking charges across the district by 10%, standardizing the daily charges across the district to £5.

The Executive also agreed to consult with relevant disability user groups about the possibility of introducing car parking charges for disabled customers before making a final decision on blue badge charges.

They also opted to support further development of the cashless and ticketless transaction method.

Council Leader Duncan McGinty said: "We haven’t raised charges for four years and compared to other districts in Somerset we are woefully below in comparison."

"We’ve undertaken a consultation and whilst you’d expect raising charges to be unpopular nevertheless some people were in favour. As unpopular a measure as this may seem I am reasonably comfortable with it."

Burnham-On-Sea Chamber of Trade attacked the proposed increase in costs earlier this week, calling it "an unwelcome barrier to business," but the council has approved the hike.

A Chamber spokesman said: "Whilst understanding Sedgemoor's budget issues and the ongoing capping of Council Tax increases, across the board increases in parking charges are detrimental when there is little attempt by Sedgemoor to attract extra shoppers into the town."

"The Chamber recognises that out-of-town supermarkets and shopping centres offer free parking and there are no parking charges for shoppers who sit at home on their computer or tablet to shop online."

"Parking charges are an unwelcome barrier to business in a town that has reducing public transport, an elderly population and a seasonal influx of visitors."

It comes in the same week that Sedgemoor's Chief Executive has had his salary of £132,282 per year scrutinised, as we reported here.

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