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Evening & Sunday Car Parking Voted Through By Mid Sussex District Council In The 2024/25 Budget

29th February 2024 | By Peter Chapman

Visitors to Mid Sussex's towns will have to pay between 10%-30% more to use the District's car parks - as well as pay for evenings and Sundays for the first time - after the Lib Dems, Greens and some Independent councillors voted through the 2024/25 budget.

A failed Conservative amendment called for a flat 10% increase across all three towns and to hold off on evening and Sunday charges to allow for a year of further consultation and discussion. Their proposal called for reducing the financial allocation to the Food Waste reserve for a year in order to balance the books.

This budget meeting proved to be the moment where the inevitable ' honeymoon period' and friendly relations between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives came to a screeching halt in the council chamber on Wednesday 28th February.

The East Grinstead-based Conservative contingent threw allegations in the direction of the Lib Dems for hitting East Grinstead the hardest (30% rise) compared to Burgess Hill, while also pointing out that the planned introduction for charging for parking in the villages has been postponed until next year - which follows the general election where the Libs are currently enjoying support in Hassocks and Hurst.

East Grinstead is no longer part of the Mid Sussex Parliamentary boundary - having been moved to a new constituency which includes Uckfield. Observers would see that the Conservatives have a point with how East Grinstead has been treated - but how deliberate the move is can only be answered by the Lib Dem leadership and what advice they were given to charge each town by council advisors.

Under the proposals, Burgess Hill Car Parks will see a 10% increase, Haywards Heath 20% and East Grinstead a whopping 30%.

For the first time, visitors will have to pay for parking between 6pm-8pm as well as on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

These new charges are all part of the Mid Sussex Parking Strategy which is also due to see the introduction of 'differential parking' where some of the District's most popular car parks will see a further rise in the hourly rate on top of the 10%-30% agreed on Wednesday evening.

The vote for the proposed 2024/25 budget saw 27 vote in favour, 14 abstentions and 3 voting against - the three being Cllr Rex Whittaker (Conservative, East Grinstead) Cllr Mustak Miah (Conservative, Burgess Hill) and Cllr Peter Chapman (Independent, Burgess Hill)

BHU will publish a full in-depth report of the meeting over the weekend.

The full recording of the budget meeting can be viewed on YouTube here:

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