Here’s how much parking charges in Hastings could increase by next year

Plans to increase charges for car parking and a wide range of other council services are set to be discussed by Hastings cabinet members next week. 

View from West Hill looking towards Rock A Nore car park. SUS-211015-131749001
View from West Hill looking towards Rock A Nore car park. SUS-211015-131749001

Next Monday (December 6), Hastings Borough Council’s cabinet is set to consider proposals to increase the fees and charges for a number of the authority’s services in the coming financial year (2022/23).

These would cover a wide range of council services, including beach huts, sports pitches, cemetery charges and taxi licensing among many others.

Parking charges

During the same meeting, cabinet members will also discuss plans to increase what the council charges at its pay and display car parks. 

Unlike the other increases, these would undergo public consultation as part of the council’s budget setting process rather than being agreed by cabinet members.

For the most part, parking charges would go up by around five per cent. For example, the cost of an hour’s parking at the Pelham Place, Rock a Nore, Castle Hill Road and The Bourne car parks would increase from £1.80 to £1.90, while a three-hour ticket would go up from £4.40 to £4.60. 

Similar increases would be in place at other council car parks, with the notable exception of the Cornwallis Street Car Park, which will stay the same price.

Another notable exception would be the three sports centre car parks at Summerfields, Falaise Road and Falaise Hall, which will all get a new pricing structure. 

Currently motorists can park in these three car parks for up to four hours, with prices starting at 50p for up to an hour and up to £2 for four hours. The new pricing would start at 60p for two hours and go up to £2.10 for up to four hours of parking. 

The council says this is intended to reflect concerns around putting people off from visiting the sports centres, while also discouraging commuter parking.

For Carlisle Parade, The Pier and St. Margaret’s the cost of a one-hour stay would rise from £1.40 to £1.50 and from £2.80 to £3.10 for up to three hours.

The same changes would apply to the Priory Street Multi-Storey 7am-9pm Monday to Saturday, with the £1 charge on Sundays remaining.

An extra 10p will be added to all the charges at Crystal Square, as well as for Grosvenor Gardens apart from up to four hours, which will cost an extra 20p.

Stays of up to two hours at Hastings Country Park between 8am and 4pm will increase in price from £2.50 to £2.60 and for up to eight hours from £3.50 to £3.70.

Parking permits would also go up from £730 to £765 for an annual season, from £205 to £215 for a quarterly, £80 to £85 for a monthly and from £30 to £35 for a weekly.

Fees to rise broadly in line with inflation

In a report to be considered by cabinet members, a council officer said: “Ordinarily to maintain the value of fees and charges income, the minimum increase should reflect inflation – based on the retail price index.

“As a result, the decision was taken that we would apply a rate of 3.9 per cent increase unless specific areas felt there was a need to diversify away from this. 

“This will therefore allow for other factors such as the local economy not being as strong as it was twelve months previous, but still allowing us as a council to provide the excellent services at a level our residents have come to expect from us whilst maintaining our financial stability at what is a challenging time.”

While most of the fees and charges are set to increase by 3.9 per cent, some are set to increase at a higher rate. 

These include the prices for booking sports pitches and courts, which will generally increase by around five per cent.

For example the cost of booking a football pitch for an adult’s one-off game is set to rise from £84.50 to £88.50, while the cost of an adult booking a tennis court would rise from £8.80 to £9.20 (or 4.5 per cent).

A notable exception to the increases will be the council’s annual charge for garden waste collections, which will stay the same. The council says this is because it already charges significantly more than the councils it shares a waste contractor with.

Hastings Borough Council currently charges £70 a year for this service, while Wealden charges £55 and Rother £45.

However, the council will increase what it charges for bulky waste collections. Currently it charges £35 to collect up to three bulky household items. Cabinet is asked to approve increasing this charge to £38.

However, the largest cost increases are set to come in what the council charges for beach huts and chalets, although the rates of these proposed increases vary considerably.

For example the annual cost of one of the Marina or Solarium chalets (located opposite the Royal Victoria Hotel) is set to rise from £1,981 to £2,179.10 — a ten per cent increase.

However, the cost of a West Marina chalet will increase by a much more modest 2.1 per cent, to either £1,396 or £1,335 depending on its location.

The greatest increase will be in the cost of a weekly rental of the seasonal Victoria beach huts (also located opposite the Royal Victoria Hotel). In 2021 a week’s rental would  have set you back £91 during the peak of the season. In 2022 the council intends to charge £273 instead. 

The council also intends to introduce several new charges in 2022/23. These will include the introduction of a £150 charge for ‘re-scoring’ food standards inspections. If approved by cabinet, the council would also begin (from April 2022) charging motorists to use its electric car charging points. The council would initially set the cost at roughly £6 for two hours of charging.