Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cats now preparing to leave bags in their droves

Across the country it is starting to become apparent that parking enforcement is costing councils money. If revenue is down then enforcement policy is working and therefore becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

However, it is not about keeping the streets clear and traffic moving. It is about money and the cat is out of the bag (or at least a number will be in the coming weeks).

Councillors should not be talking about 'business models' and 'making cash' and, as the High Court case Camden v Cran before Justice McCullough in 1995 reaffirmed, councils cannot use parking enforcement to raise revenue.

Too many councils have come to rely on this revenue to fill the holes in their budgets ... hence the increasing drive towards more Draconian Enforcement. I am sure that Cllr. Letheren will regret letting Bucks be the first cat out of the bag.

New parking meters will be fought, Buckinghamshire County Council boss says Wednesday 13th January 2010
By Oliver Evans

BIDS to put more parking meters in Buckinghamshire streets will be met with fierce opposition, a transport boss has warned.

Councillor Val Letheren said councils which took over traffic warden duties are struggling to make cash - but plugging the gap with new meters would face resistance.
Residents are 'very very anti' new parking meters, she warned and pointed to a successful campaign against the introduction of on street charges in Amersham old town.
Wycombe, Chiltern and Aylesbury councils, which manage wardens, are now in a 'terrible dilemma' over how to break even, she said.

The Buckinghamshire County Council transport boss said: "The business model is just not working."
Cllr Letheren, cabinet member for transportation, said: "Our attempts to change this appear to have not been very successful given what's happened in Amersham."

The problem could be tackled by getting a private firm to enforce regulations on councils' behalf, she said.
Yet Cllr Letheren said: "They wouldn't be as nice as the district ones. They might enforce signs and lines more efficiently. That is where you get the income."

She was addressing the council's 'examination of the budget and medium term plan task and finish group', which is looking into the proposed BCC budget for 2010/11.
Wycombe District Council took over warden duties in October 2008 for all the district. It has said wardens are not target driven and profits go back into the service.
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