At yesterday’s cabinet meeting the council decided to raise parking charges in Ealing by Â£1.5 million a year and CPZ charges in particular by Â£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 Â£1.5 million rise in parking charges is only a small fraction of the overall Â£53 million savings that the new Labour council reckons it will have to make over the next three years.