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Parking charges set to rise and toilets set to close in latest wave of frontline cuts

PUBLISHED: 15:05 11 January 2017

Gravesend town centre

Gravesend town centre

Archant

The council is continuing to make cuts to frontline services

The latest wave of changes to Gravesham’s frontline services has been revealed this week.

A meeting of the cabinet on Monday revealed residents and visitors alike could suffer rises in parking fees.

In a bid to save £1.43million, as councils prepare to lose their government support grant, the council has planned changes to parking costs and community safety.

To save £260,000, the council plans to increase parking fees by 30p for each tariff band, with resident and visitor parking permit prices also set to rise.

Up to five public toilets could also close, including ones on Clive Road, Parrock Street and Perry Street in Gravesend.

Deputy Leader at Gravesham Borough Council, David Turner, said: “With the announcements made by the government in December the council’s need for savings has only grown further and means that difficult decisions have had to be made in order to continue to deliver frontline services for our residents.”

Last month the council announced plans to close a tourism advice centre in St George’s Square to save £66,000 - despite the town being at the centre of Kent’s tourism boom.

A council spokesperson defended the cuts saying: “These changes following a thorough review of how the parking provision and public convenience provision compares with other districts.

“Gravesham will remain one of the cheapest places in Kent to park, with toilet provision retained within strategic positions in the town, such as the market, The Woodville and the council’s recreational grounds.”

Elsewhere the council is looking to share its environmental health service costs with another local authority, and do the same with its revenues and benefits service.

Money spent on CCTV will also be cut, by ‘embracing technological developments and introducing alternative operating models’, according to the council.

These changes, along with restructuring licence fees, and cutting down on paper, could save up to £364,000.

The cuts could continue, as the final round of Gravesham’s budget review will be looked at in the spring.

These latest plans are now subject to the overview and scrutinee comittee, which will meet next week (January 19).

What do you think? Email your thoughts to luke.may@archant.co.uk.

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