Changes to Chesterfield residents’ parking scheme

Proposals to introduce a small charge for the residents’ car parking scheme have been approved by Chesterfield Borough Council.

Like local authorities across the country, the council is facing unprecedented challenges in balancing its budgets whilst ensuring the continued delivery of essential services and support for the most vulnerable within its communities.

The new tariff will see residents pay a small flat-rate fee of £1 when parking within the designated car parks before 10am on Monday to Saturday, rising to a flat-rate £2 fee when parking after 3pm on Monday to Saturday. Residents will also pay £2 for all-day parking on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

A review of the free residents’ parking scheme was among a range of budget savings proposals which were agreed in principle by the council’s Cabinet in November which – taken together – will help the council meet its legal duty to set a balanced budget for the financial year 2024/25.

The detailed proposal was considered and approved by the council’s Cabinet on Tuesday (16 January), with the new charges to take effect from 1 April.

Councillor Kate Sarvent, cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: “We remain fully committed to investing in Chesterfield town centre and in supporting others to do the same. We have built new office accommodation and as a result brought new businesses and footfall into the town centre, our multi-million-pound refurbishment of the Stephenson Memorial Hall is now well underway, and we will shortly start to make improvements to our market grounds and connecting public realm.

“These and other investments have been made possible through the council’s ability to attract external funding or to develop sound business cases that evidence financial returns.

“However, like councils across the country, we are facing a perfect storm of financial challenges – most outside of our control. Added to the background of historic Government underfunding of the sector, we are having to deal with the legacy effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, rising demand for council services such as homelessness and the impacts of an extended period of exceptionally high inflation on pay, goods, and services.

“The introduction of a fee for residents’ parking is not a decision which we have taken lightly. In doing so we have tried to balance the need to ensure that it remains affordable for our residents to continue to visit Chesterfield town centre, whilst also trying to offset the rising costs of providing and maintaining car parking and other town centre services, including CCTV provision and community safety activities.

“The decision to also uplift car parking charges from 1 April 2024 is equally one that we make with a heavy heart. These are challenging times for the whole of local government that require us to make difficult decisions, but we have little choice if the council is to be able to continue to deliver essential services and support the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Residents will receive their parking passes with their council tax bills in the usual way. They will be valid from 1 April 2024 to 31 March 2025 and should be displayed with a valid ticket, or payment via the council’s pay by phone provider – RingGo.

The current residents’ parking pass – which allows for free parking before 10am and after 3pm on Monday to Friday, and all day on Sundays and Bank Holidays, will remain in operation until 31 March 2024.

More information about how the scheme will operate will be published on the council’s website over the coming weeks.

First published on 17 January 2024 Last updated on 17 January 2024