Newham Council made £7.3m surplus from parking charges, says report


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Newham Council made £7.3m from parking charges after spending money on improving roads last year, according to a new report.

The borough came ninth in a list compiled by the RAC Foundation of 359 local authorities who had made huge surpluses from parking operations.

In the year 2011/12, the Council had £7,316,000 left over after paying for public street and road infrastructure.

This figure has increased by 306 per cent since 2009/10 when the Council made £1.8m.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said: “For many local authorities, parking charges are a nice little earner, especially in London.

“Not all authorities make big sums. Several run a current account deficit and indeed of those with surpluses, many will see the money vanish when capital expenditure is taken into account.

“But the bottom line is that hundreds of millions of pounds are being contributed annually to council coffers through parking charges.”

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Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “This profit shows why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules.

“Councils aren’t listening, and local shops and hard-working families are suffering as a result.

“The law is clear that parking is not a tax or cash cow for town hall officers.”

Newham Council insisted all revenue made from parking is reinvested back into the borough’s highways by managing the network, increasing school crossing patrols, and maintaining roads.

The Council also says it has the lowest resident parking costs in London.

A spokesperson for Newham Council added: “The change in surplus relates to four factors. Firstly, London Councils agreed in April 2011 that our PCN (Penalty Charge Notices) charges should be raised from Band B (£100 & £60) to Band A Rates (£120 & £80), moving from outer to inner London rates.

“Secondly, we have become more efficient at targeting illegal parking and use of our roads. In 2010/11, for example, we issued 212,000 PCNs and removed 2992 vehicles; in 2011/12 we issued 221,000 PCNs and there were 5,885 removals of illegal vehicles.

“Thirdly, with the support of our residents we have also increased the number of resident parking zones from 11 to 17 over the last three financial years.

“Fourthly, we also have a more efficient back office operation, meaning we are able to invest even more in creating a better highway.”