Rother gleans 58pc more from parking fees

Rother District Council made an extra £48,080 from Battle car park users during the last financial year, new figures have revealed.

In the year ending April 2012, the authority raked in £279,516 from motorists using the town’s Mount Street and Market car parks.

In the year ending April 2013, Rother made £327,596 - a increase of just over 17 per cent.

The figures, released under the Freedom of Information Act, also show the council’s revenue from Battle’s car parks alone has increased by 58 per cent in just over two years - compared to just 17.6 per cent from all the other Rother-owned car parks combined.

Meanwhile Notice to Pay income (penalty charges) for Battle has decreased from £61,000 to £23,000 during the last financial year.

Battle resident Clive Bishop said: “Once again RDC sees fit to extract a double digit rise in parking revenue from Battle - making it a staggering 58 per cent rise over the last two years.

“We all know the detrimental effect this has on the town’s economy and that Battle pays way over what’s fair compared to other parts of Rother such as Bexhill.”

Rother District Council chief executive Derek Stevens said: “The council actually decided NOT to increase charges in Battle’s car parks this year, so it’s certainly not something we view as a cash cow and we need to balance any price increases against usage.

“To put it in perspective, our street cleaning service - which helps to keep Battle and other areas of the district looking good – would barely have its costs covered by car parking income.

“However, there were price increases in the Market car parks last year to bring them in line with costs in Mount Street.

“In order to continue delivering strong services to the people of Battle and Rother, the council requires income to make up for the £2million plus reduction in its grant by central government.

“The matter is currently being reviewed by our car parks working group.”