Friday, 5 September 2014

The truth about the budget proposals on parking

Cabinet member, Alex Folkes wants me to clarify the Cabinet's position on parking charges (see my blog of 3 September) I am happy to do so, although I am surprised he would not rather do this himself.

The Budget book (page 83) says that the Cabinet proposes to increase income by charging £500,000 per annum for staff to park at certain buildings. Page 83 does not say when this will come in but Alex says it will not be for 3 years. This is because, while cutting services, the current administration decided to guarantee to pay all pay rises for staff who are not made redundant (and to guarantee their terms and conditions) for the next three years. In exchange staff gave up their right to be considered for a bonus in that period.

Also, Alex believes that it will or should be possible to raise a further £2.9m from car parking without increasing charges by RPI plus 1% per year (page 49 of Budget Book). He does not say how he will do this. Trials over the last year to reduce parking charges without losing money (never mind making more money) have so far resulted in an estimated overall loss to the Council of about £20,000 (plus set up and administration costs of of £86,000). So the Cabinet has set itself a difficult task.

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