Tim's Council Diary: Parking and Drains

17 Nov 2023
CPZ 2 hour parking notice / sign

Firstly, I should say thank you to all at St Pauls Sandgate for the magnificent organisation, as every year, of the Sandgate Remembrance Service in the church and at the War Memorial. We will remember them, and it was, as always, humbling to be with hundreds of people on Sunday living up to that promise.

At Folkestone & Hythe District Council Cabinet this week there was scheduled to be a paper on introducing on street parking charges in a number of areas including bits of Folkestone, Sandgate, Hythe and New Romney.

The proposal was altered earlier this week to recommend that every area would have 30 minutes free parking.

Following the views of Overview and Scrutiny Committee, and extensive lobbying from both outside and inside (including from me!) the Council, the paper was withdrawn, and that proposal will not be brought forward as it stands as a part of next year's budget.

It's over.

I'm delighted. That's the right decision: there were many good thoughts on the proposals, but too many issues with them. As they stood, they would have hurt local businesses.

What remains true is that all those areas have different parking challenges. We should be looking at each of them in turn, with full stakeholder, business and resident consultation about things that could improve parking (and reduce double parking, parking on double yellow lines and by crossings and junctions).

I really hope (and will fight for) that continuing to mean there is at least a period of free on street parking in all those roads, but let's see what a proper discussion, with defined benefits for those areas, actually brings.

But the headline: the on street parking charges proposals will not be part of the savings for the District Council budget.

A Council that listens to local residents, understands, and acts. Cool.

And finally on a Sandgate note, I'm absolutely delighted that after years of chasing, first to Folkestone & Hythe District Council and after they solved their bit of the problem Kent County Council for the last 18 months, we've seen what I think will be substantial progress on Sandgate High Street / Esplanade flooding.

Essentially, some of the street drains there empty through a series of pipes and silt traps onto the beach. They haven't for years due to shingle, silt and blocked pipes, and the road and pavement floods. F&HDC have now moved the shingle. Kent have today cleaned out the pipes, silt traps and a number of drains. And the area is not flooding.