At Cabinet on Tuesday Labour nodded through the Parking Annual Report â€“ this is an innovation bought in by me when I was in charge of parking as a part of a range of measures to modernise and improve a service that was seen as failing at the time. To give you an idea of how bad this service was when we came into power one of the first things we had to do was write off Â£6 million because the service has overstated its income â€“ if a listed company had been caught doing this the directors would have been facing prosecutions. Follow this link and see half way down page three.
There are some good things in the annual report, including good work to tackle Blue Badge fraud â€“ another initiative kicked off under the previous administration. The one obvious bad thing is the Â£1.8 million jump in income from parking permits and charges (excluding income from fines which actually went down slightly). This jump in income is equivalent to a council tax rise of 1.5% and was only levied on car drivers. Labour is pressing car drivers hard â€“ this rise in charges came into force on 1st January 2011, was followed by another one this January and will be followed by another one next January.
Note – to work out Â£1.8 million figure go to income analysis on page 23 and take out PCN income.