Labour accuses Council of stealth tax

as revenue from parking up 20%

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Stuart King the Deputy Leader of Labour in Wandsworth has released figures for Parking Revenue Wandsworth the . 2004/05 are figures to date (i.e. week 48) and 2005/06 are the budgeted figures for next year. They represent a 20% increase from this year to next.

Cllr King told us that
"These figures show what an enormous cash cow parking has become for Wandsworth council. For the first time the revenue raised will break the £20m barrier. The actual cost of running the CPZs is well below £20m so the council is making a profit out of Wandsworth drivers. With over three quarters of the borough covered by a CPZ, this has got to be the biggest stealth tax of them all."

Parking revenue 2004/05 £ 2005/06
Residents permits 2,575,851 2,933,840

Business permits
1,510,535 1,734,340
Pay & display
Penalty Charges 7,590,274 9,171,750
Totals 17,953,896 to week 48 21,781,980 budget

A spokesman for the Council has responded that:

"All the money raised from parking charges is used to pay for transport improvements that benefit the community.

"The current parking surplus amounts to about £10m. Of this £6m is spent on funding concessionary fares for the elderly and the disabled; £3m on providing special needs transport for schools and day centres and £1m on highways improvements. The additonal income generated by this review of
charges is designed to cover increasing year on year costs. Any surplus will be ploughed back into transport improvements.

"It is a simple fact that our permit charges are among the cheapest in London. Some neighbouring councils charge twice what we do."

March 18, 2005