Forest Gate teachers’ anger over 66% increase in parking costs
- Credit: Archant
Teachers at a secondary school are furious at the news it will soon cost them £200 more a year to go to work.
Staff at St Angela’s Ursuline School in St George’s Road, Forest Gate, currently hold business permits but Newham Council are set to bump up the cost by 66 per cent - costing teachers £500 a year to park outside the school.
They see this as an unfair tax on their “squeezed” incomes as teachers’ salaries have been frozen for three years with an increase in pension contributions.
Helen Onyemere, Head of English, says the business rate is completely inappropriate for staff as many are on lower salaries than teachers and cannot afford the expense, and it does not represent value for money when they only need them 39 weeks a year.
She added: “The council doesn’t seem to take into account that this isn’t some sort of Green Tax, some of us have no choice but to drive because we have textbooks and folders, and we often have to stay late for after-school clubs and parents’ evenings.
“We’re not saying we shouldn’t pay, we’re more insulted by the fact we’re classed as a ‘business’ when we can’t claim tax relief like a business, and there’s just no thought put into our situation as teachers.”
Collectively, the staff have contacted the council, the Newham Mayor, and both MPs but have been told they have a good deal with the business permits.
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Newham Council claim they are the only London borough to allow school workers to apply for parking permits and they will discuss the issue with the school.
A council spokesperson said: “Business permits are intended to assist those employees who need their vehicle in order to carry out their duties within different areas of Newham on a regular basis.
“This includes health professionals, home visiting officers, and delivery drivers.
“The fee equates to a daily, all-day parking charge of just £2.50 which is far from excessive especially when someone is choosing to drive to work as opposed to using public transport.”