by Jill Hope on 1 August, 2014
A REPORT AT THE RECENT COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING SAYS THAT PERMITS should go up by £35, from £25 to £60, with a second permit costing £80. The Conservative cabinet said the cost of running the permit scheme makes a loss, and the fee would have to rise.
County Councillor for Sixfields and St James, Jill Hope said: “This increase is far too abrupt at a time when people’s incomes have stayed the same for several years or even fallen. Instead of allowing the scheme to fall into such serious debt, the council should have reviewed the cost of permits and increased them by just a small amount each year, in line with inflation. This increase is two and a half times the existing rate. That’s unacceptable. I just hope that on this occasion the county council will not only consult, but will listen to what people have to say. The so-called consultation about reopening Abington Street was a joke. This time I will make sure that the consultation is properly undertaken with the people of St James.”
Councillor Sarah Uldall (Lib Dem, St. Georges) said: “This price hike is based on the Council’s belief that parking permits should be revenue neutral. I think, when it comes to schemes to make the road system even basically effective for local people, that is what your council tax is for. Quite simply, this is an extra tax on people who live in urban areas.”
Councillor Brendan Glynane, leader of the Lib Dem opposition at County Hall, said: “The increase to residents is absolutely outrageous. In many cases, the reasons there are controlled parking areas has got nothing to do with residents. In St James, for example, where there are many parking permit schemes – much of the need is caused by match days and shoppers. Why is it local residents who are being penalised?”
A county council spokesperson said: “We are planning to review the charges for residents’ permit parking schemes. The proposed charges would enable the scheme to pay for itself rather than aimed at generating any profit. We will be consulting on this proposal in autumn.”