Parking charges will increase in Exmouth and Budleigh

5:21 PM February 7, 2022

08:56 8 February 2022

Charges are to be £2 per hour at nine east Devon ‘tourist hotspot’ car parks, including four in Exmouth and one in Budleigh Salterton.

These are Queen’s Drive, Queen’s Drive Echelon, Foxholes and Beach Gardens in Exmouth and Lime Kiln in Budleigh.

An increase to £1.50 per hour will be introduced at the Imperial Road, Imperial Recreation Ground and London Inn car parks in Exmouth, as well as Rolle Mews in Budleigh Salterton.

East Devon District Council Cabinet agreed to the hikes, which affect several car parks in the district, on Wednesday February 2, and if approved by full council they will take effect at the start of the next financial year in April.

Councilors say inflation and the introduction of VAT on parking fees have eaten away at revenue generated from parking. They believe the £1.1million generated by the raise is needed to balance the council’s budget and provide urgently needed funds elsewhere.

To reduce the impact on local residents, residents who pay council tax will be entitled to £10-a-month parking permits.

Prices will be capped at £8 for a day’s parking for non-residents or those without a permit.

Speaking at the meeting, Councilor Paul Millar (Labour, Democratic Alliance Group, Exmouth Halsdon) said he was originally against the rise but decided it was justified and would carry the parking prices in prime locations at levels seen in many other parts of Devon.

The move allows the cabinet to restructure the council’s revenue budget, injecting an additional £737,000 into staffing.

This includes money for Streetscene, which cleans and maintains public spaces, including parks, public gardens and council-owned toilets.

The service, which hasn’t invested in staff for 10 years, is struggling to keep pace with demand for waterfront cleanups rising nearly 30% in the last year alone.

Additional funds will also be used to hire more staff for development management, which is struggling to keep on top of the record number of planning requests.

The increased income also allows the council to invest £50,000 in its tree strategy, without straining its climate change budget. A further £159,000 will be used to fund the council’s recycling and waste management services.

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