Had to say a few words about parking charges. They’re going up, also certain free car parks will be free no longer (there is one in Hipperholme).
I presented one of the petitions totalling 10,000 signatures against these measures (not quite library size but big enough). As the Council needs to raise revenues, (parking currently only makes £1.5 million profits!), it views parking as a ‘product’. Seems almost like a business. In my time on the Council however, parking services has never hit a revenue target (never!). So, its projections for income are worthless. The previous administration privatised the parking wardens (not the chiefs, just the indians!) with the intention of saving £40,000. Instead this private Spanish company is costing £60,000 more. So £100k that could be in the council coffers is now paying dividends to Spanish shareholders (well, I suppose they need the money).
Next, parking permits. In certain streets mainly around the town centre and the hospital, residents can get permits to park outside their own home.
Fair enough, I suppose, but why have they up until now been free? Why has my elderly neighbour, with no car, on an unadopted street, been paying through her Council tax for officers to administer this scheme, issue the permits and for our highly priced wardens to enforce it.
In the new proposals these permits will cost £25 to cover the cost of administration. This is a missed opportunity to use the ‘parking product’ to raise revenues.
Firstly the charge should be more. Perhaps £100. Secondly, the scheme should be expanded. I know many streets in my council ward which, after car park charges are introduced, will be jammed with people trying to avoid the new charges, while residents would be happy to pay to ensure a parking space near their home. Spread out over Calderdale I think this is a scheme plenty of people would want to take part in, rather than have to pay to do their shopping. Give people a product they want and scrap what they don’t want, you’ll make more money!