New car park charges are to come into force in a coastal town which critics say unfairly target locals living nearby.

Conservative-controlled Great Yarmouth Borough Council is introducing fees at Brush Quay car park in Gorleston as part of efforts to boost its finances in order to plug a £2.2m deficit.

The move was criticised by the Labour opposition group at GYBC as they say the site is predominately used by people living close by, due to insufficient on-street parking in the surrounding roads.   

Eastern Daily Press: Brush Quay car park in GorlestonBrush Quay car park in Gorleston (Image: Google)

They argue that fees should be introduced at the nearby CliffTop car park instead.

The opposition group say that this car park, due to being used mainly by visitors, would bring in at least £65,000 a year to the council compared to £46,000 Brush Quay – which is a 25-minute walk away.

At a meeting this week, Jade Martin, Labour councillor for Central and Northgate ward said: "I do not see the logic. We have two options - one is to make residents suffer or the other is to make visitors pay to park at our seaside town."

Tony Wright, Labour councillor of Nelson Ward, added: "At almost every other coastal car park you have to pay. This would be no different."

Eastern Daily Press: GYBC councillor Jade MartinGYBC councillor Jade Martin (Image: GY Labour)

Conservative councillor Paul Wells, cabinet member for environment and sustainability, said fees at Cliff Top car park would not work and worried people would park on Marine Parade instead.

At the meeting, 17 Labour councillors voted in favour of charges being brought in at Cliff Top, while the 18 Conservatives and one Independent voted against it.

READ MORE: Charges to increase at country park car park

Eastern Daily Press: Paul Wells, cabinet member for environment and sustainabilityPaul Wells, cabinet member for environment and sustainability (Image: GYBC)

Following the decision, people will have to pay £4.50 for a half day stay and £9 for a full day while season tickets will also be offered. It will remain free in the winter months and between 6pm - 9am. 

It is one of many measures brought in as the authority seeks to balance its books, which also includes raising council tax by 4.99pc for Band D properties.

Eastern Daily Press: The town hall in Great YarmouthThe town hall in Great Yarmouth (Image: Newsquest)

GYBC councillors approved the budget for 2024/2025, which leader Carl Smith said has been one of the hardest he has delivered in his five years as leader.

"Difficult decisions" have had to be made, said Mr Smith, which has included increased charges and cuts in order to stem a forecast £2.2m deficit next year.

The leader is to lobby the government for a fair funding deal for the authority, which has seen a 55pc drop in funding since 2010. 

The Labour group at GYBC have welcomed this move.


  • Council tax is to rise by 4.99pc for Band D properties. 
  • GYBC housing tenants will see rents go up by 7.7pc.
  • The level of council tax support has been cut from 91.5pc to 80pc. However, a £200,000 hardship fund has been set up instead.
  • The tourism department has been cut from the council and other operational changes have come into effect.
  • Grants worth £90,285 to parish councils for maintaining parks and open spaces have been cut.
  • Garden waste bin collection fees are to rise.
  • A proposed cut to funding for RNLI lifeguards at Great Yarmouth, Gorlestn and Hemsby beaches has been put on hold.