Charges at council-owned car parks could increase as council look to make further savings
Parking charges to use all council owned car parks in the town centre could soon rise, the Leader of Wrexham Council pointing to Welsh Government for the reason why.
Wrexham Council are looking for the public’s views on proposals to increase charges by an additional 20p to 50p on the existing tariffs.
It comes as the local authority looks to make further savings over the next two years, and generate more revenue to offset cuts.
The council estimates that it will need to save £5.4 million – and potentially as much as £7.2 million in 2019-20.
It is also thought that it will be at least £9.8 million short over the next two years.
Last week Wrexham Council launched its latest Difficult Decisions consultation, outlining potential cuts and revenue generators that the authority is looking at for the next two years.
One such proposal is a review of the current car parking charges in order to generate £71,000 a year for the local authority.
The proposal is to increase town-centre parking fees by between 20p and 50p, depending on the location and length of stay. There will be no changes to charges for parking within country parks.
As part of the consultation participants are asked to provide feedback on any alternative suggestions about fees and tariffs for car parking and what impact they feel the proposals will have.
Commenting on the launch of the latest budget consultation, councillor Mark Pritchard, leader of Wrexham Council, says: “We don’t want to do this. We just don’t have a choice.
“The Welsh Government is gradually starving us of funding – forcing us to cut the services we provide for local people.
“It’s heart-breaking. People in Wrexham don’t deserve that.
“But we’re now past the tipping point, and we’ve got no choice but to cut or stop services when our budget is being reduced by so much.
“We’ll keep lobbying Welsh Government until it realises it can’t keep hurting public services and leaving places like Wrexham to suffer.
“And we’re urging people to lobby their Assembly Members for a better deal for Wrexham.
“But there’s no doubt we’re going to have to make some really difficult decisions that will hit people hard.”
Other revenue generators featured in the consultation process is changing the way the council runs the community centres left under its ownership and the Memorial Hall in the town centre.
Although no specifics are mentioned, the document references: “Supporting a thriving and resilient economy, reflecting the position of Wrexham town as the major urban area of North Wales being well connected regionally, nationally and internationally.
“Offering a range of employment opportunities with a good mix of traditional industry and the skills and knowledge economy, and where older people are valued through continuing to use their skills and expertise.
“We will look to change the way we run community resource centres and Wrexham Memorial Hall, so that we can increase usage and generate additional income.”
Councillor Hugh Jones, who has lead responsibility for the consultation, says: “Even though we don’t think we’ll have much choice but to make these proposed cuts, we’d like to know what people think and give everyone a chance to put forward other ideas.
“It’s really important we understand how people feel about these proposals, and it only takes a few minutes to fill-in the questionnaire, so please take part.”
Last week Wrexham.com reported that Wrexham Council was looking at reducing the current fortnightly collections for household waste to three-weekly. You can read more on the proposals here.
Updated: You can take part in the ‘Difficult Decisions’ consultation on the YourVoiceWrexham website until November 13th 2019.
(Top pic: Council Leader and Deputy Leader in a council car park)
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