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Ealing and Northfield

CPZ charges

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting the council decided to raise parking charges in Ealing by £1.5 million a year and CPZ charges in particular by £683,000. Follow this link and scroll down to page 12 to see the details. Also see Gazette piece here.

Tonight we will be discussing CPZ finances and charges at the CPZ scrutiny panel. If you look at the papers here you will see that contrary to popular belief CPZs actually cost the council money. They are a cost centre, not a profit centre. See the key paper here.

If you would like to get involved in the discussion about CPZ finances and charges please come to the CPZ Specialist Scrutiny Panel tonight at 7pm in Committee Room 3 at the Town Hall, see agenda here.

The scrutiny meetings are not meant to be political – the purpose of scrutiny is to challenge the executive to ensure that decisions are sound and taken on the basis of facts. As chairman it will be my job to get to the facts and cut through the waffle. That said it is worth spelling out the political background to this decision. The previous Tory administration made a manifesto commitment in 2006 to freeze all parking charges as a result of a widespread feeling that motorists had been poorly treated by the council in the past. The new Labour council may well have a different attittude to car drivers, it also has to deal the current political and economic climate where we are due to have a very hard spending review which will result in large savings having to be made. In local government finance a saving can be a cut or it can be a rise in charges for services such as parking. The £1.5 million rise in parking charges is only a small fraction of the overall £53 million savings that the new Labour council reckons it will have to make over the next three years.

5 replies on “CPZ charges”

But isn’t a forced rise?

What can residents do now its risen?

They can’t park on their on road but miles away so what do you suggest?

If they are cost centres not profit centres, and the council needs to cut costs, then why not reduce the CPZ… either in size or in hours. Both would reduce cost. Presumably reducing the hours would save ££ on ‘wardens’ (or whatever daft title they have these days) thus allowing to avoid a rise in the charges?

Or is this a bizarre back door way for them to force CPZs on areas like the top end of Northfields that neither want or need them?

Jon,

Whenever the council does post implementation consultations residents are always strongly in favour of retaining CPZs. CPZs do tend to be a bit like mobile phones and TV remotes – once you have them you can never go back!

As for hours less hours increases costs because you can only enforce in a narrow window (and they won’t work without enforcement).

No-one, not least your councillors, wants to push a CPZ on people at the top end of Northfields as you say. We did ask the question last year as there were a lot of changes going on in the surrounding CPZs and we felt that it was important that residents had a chance to have a say. In the end they said no. Fair enough. The issue is closed for some years although doubtless some of your neighbours will argue for a CPZ – the council only ever puts in CPZs as a result of resident demands.

You are right though that the council is happy to push up charges but not to tackle its own cost base. These changes will bring in £1.5 million of extra revenue out of residents’ pockets and there is no attempt to control costs.

Excuse me Phil but I agree with Jon. It is forced. For example, in a row of 5 streets (1 to 5), with 1 being closest to the shopping parade, if there was no CPZ meaning traders parked all day mainly in streets 1 and 2.

However with CPZ enforced in streets 1 and 2, it means traders parked in streets 3 -5, so yes they have no choice but to join up due to the effect of the CPZ on their streets!

It’s common sense.

Also Ealing made £6million in 09/10 from CPZ again. I see you are only increasing substantial fees to make more money due to the cost of the CPZ admin goign up but is this fair?

50p per hour to see friends/family, so a full days will cost me £5..a shocking disgrace!!

Southall is the worst of all cpzs, enforced 10-8pm but it is empy during the day, and busy during the evening..residents who work are not happy!

Roy,

You describe the CPZ “creeping” process very well. It was this forced expansion of CPZs which spurred the previous Conservative administration to review and change the CPZ policy so that CPZs only went ahead if the whole area approved.

No-one is going to roll the clock back on CPZs, because, as I explained, once they are in the majority of people get attached to them very quickly.

The council does make about £5-6 million surplus from its entire Parking Service operation. This includes car park revenue and income from PCNs that are nothing whatsoever to do with CPZs. At the end of the day this surplus allows the council to do good things such as look after children and old people so I am not against it as long as it is fair. I think that the contribution analysis undertaken by the service for the CPZ scrutiny panel is credible and that CPZs are subsidised to the tune of £550K.

The new Labour council can I think argue that CPZs should not be subsidised. I think that this service should pay for itself. But, the first thing that the council should do is control its costs rather than just put up the charges. In addition to the £683K Labour are admitting to there is something like £500K of “sandbagging”. This sandbagging takes the form of making some very conservative assumptions that demand for permits and vouchers will slump as a result of the price changes. I think this is nonsense and that volumes will be pretty much unaffected.

I would accept that CPZs are subsidised to the tune of £550K. I would expect the service to look at cost savings before they put the price up. So increase prices to the tune of the odd £100K maybe, not over a million as Labour have done.

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