Gosport looking to raise parking charges and sports pitch fees by up to 50 per cent

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GOSPORT Borough Council could hike town centre parking charges and sport pitch fees by up to 50 per cent.

In a policy and organisation board, members voted to bring proposed changes to fees and charges to a full council decision on December 14.

Most short-term parking charges could increase by about 20 per cent, long-term charges could go up by 25 per cent on top of a 10.6 per cent increase introduced in May.

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The price for hiring sports pitches could exceed a 50 per cent price hike for cricket, rugby and football facilities. Hiring a football pitch with changing and shower facilities could go up to £90 from the current charge of £60.

Leader of Liberal Democrats Peter Chegwyn

Picture: Sarah Standing (060522-3512)Leader of Liberal Democrats Peter Chegwyn

Picture: Sarah Standing (060522-3512)
Leader of Liberal Democrats Peter Chegwyn Picture: Sarah Standing (060522-3512)

Councillor Peter Chegwyn, leader of the council said: ‘We face 11 per cent inflation and we can only increase council tax by one per cent, that simply means we can either cut services which is what other councils are doing or we can increase our income. Fee and charges haven’t come up in the last two years which means we’re addressing three years of inflationary pressure – some of these increases will have to be significant but in cash terms, they’re actually quite low.’

The new prices follow the removal of £1.5m from the council's capital programme earmarked for sports facilities in September. This money was used instead to pay for the former Criterion cinema to convert it into a multi-purpose entertainment venue.

Opposition councillor Stephen Philpott said: ‘Once you’ve priced yourself out of the market people will go elsewhere so you can put these fees and charges up for 50 plus per cent but you’ll just drive people away.

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‘I would suggest that these figures are not set into the context of inflation at all. This is a time when there are a lot of people struggling and we already have taken £1.5m out of the capital programme to pay for a vanity project.

‘If you look over the last 10 years some of these fees are going up not only more than they’ve gone up in the last 10 years but in some cases, they’re twice as much.’