Garage rent rise angers some ten­ants

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION -

IN­CREASES of 40 per cent on coun­cil garage rents this month has an­gered some users, says a coun­cil­lor.

Cllr Tony Maltby (Ind) de­manded an ex­pla­na­tion for the hefty in­creases at last week’s full coun­cil meet­ing.

He said the rises had had a con­sid­er­able im­pact, with one blind ten­ant who re­lies on his wife to drive hor­ri­fied by the rise.

Coun­cil leader Paul Clokie (Con) said garage rents had pre­vi­ously been be­low mar­ket value and the ex­tra in­come was needed to com­plete es­sen­tial re­pairs.

He said: “As a re­sult of the April in­crease, 33 ten­ants have given up cit­ing the in­crease as their rea­son.

“The re­main­ing 1,743 garage ten­ants con­tinue.

Re­pairs

“In­vest­ment is needed to bring the stock up to ac­cept­able stan­dard and re­pairs will cost £71,855 and a 30-year main­te­nance pro­gramme £5.6 mil­lion.”

Let­tings have now been banded with high-de­mand sites (oc­cu­pancy of 95 per cent or more) charged ex­tra.

The two-band pric­ing sys­tem will raise an ad­di­tional £152,000 an­nu­ally to­wards re­fur­bish­ment costs.

He agreed of­fi­cers would in­ves­ti­gate the con­cerns of the blind man and con­sider if his sit­u­a­tion was a hard­ship case.

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