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Council adds parking trial and environmental action to budget policy package
Free parking after 6pm could be introduced in North Tyneside.
The plans are among the final policy announcements behind the Elected Mayor and Cabinet’s budget proposals for 2019/2020 and are designed to support the area's growing nighttime economy and increasing visitor numbers.
The proposals, added in response to feedback from residents and businesses, would be funded within the budget proposals already put forward and would make every council-run car park in the borough free to use after 6pm.
It builds on some successful work in town centres where parking charges stop at 5.30pm and were free in the run up to Christmas.
Free parking would also be trialled at Brierdene car park, Whitley Bay, in an effort to divert cars from the town centre, improve access to revitalised coastal attractions, and bring in more visitors, while the price of a Coast Day Pass would reduce to £3.
Other proposals would see further work to maintain the cleanliness and good appearance of the borough.
These include the extension of a successful trial of a mobile CCTV van and wardens to tackle environmental offences, as well as the deployment of an additional team to littering hot sopts and the installation of larger bins.
Addressing a meeting of the cabinet on Monday evening, North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Norma Redfearn CBE, said: “We work hard to listen to our residents, businesses and visitors and we have continued to do so in the last few weeks while finalising our budget.
“I have always maintained that our beautiful coastline is an asset for all of North Tyneside and the wider North East, so I was particularly pleased to hear from residents that they share this view and they are enjoying the dramatic improvements along our coast.
“While our budget proposals have meant some tricky decisions we think we can make some useful policy changes within the budget we are proposing.
“We are seeing real business confidence across North Tyneside; local businesses are matching our investment and ambitions. In particular we are seeing a growth in micro pubs, local restaurants and cafes and a whole range of businesses looking to make the most of our success.
She added: “With success comes some additional work to keep North Tyneside looking its best. I also know from listening to residents, we need to be responsive when a small minority of people don’t take seriously our collective responsibility for looking after our community
“Cabinet know how hard we have worked to ensure our budget proposals for are balanced and manage the many risks we face. However, having been prudent this year means we can afford to make these relatively small changes which will have a big impact."
Proposals would be funded through a combination of the council’s Service Improvement Fund, Waste Reserve and agreed Investment Plan.
The 2019/2020 budget proposals will be considered at the next full council meeting in February.