Sheffield City Council raises the cost of parking permits

February 21, 2012 10:27 AM

Sheffield City Council has found a new way of raising revenue, and as usual it is hard pressed council taxpayers who will have to dig deeper into their pockets. Although the council is planning to accept the government's offer of a grant and intends to freeze council tax for the forthcoming financial year, many residents and businesses are about to be hit in the pocket by rises in parking permits.

I'm not talking about 5% or even 10%. If you have one car, the cost of a permit will double from £10 to £20. If you have a second car, the cost will increase from £30 to £60. Businesses are also being hit with the cost of a permit rising for a first vehicle from £20 to £40, and charges for a second business vehicle will increase from £60 to £90.  A visitor permit, currently costing £2.50 will rise four-fold to £10. Even charges for carers will double. It is estimated these rises will swell the council's coffers by £352K. 

The council has stated that 'parking permits are being doubled as part of efforts to absorb £55 million of funding cuts.' This in itself raises questions of legality. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 says that parking regulations should be revenue neutral, and any surpluses should be spent on “transport related purposes and other environmental schemes." As the council is admitting the increases are being introduced to raise extra revenue, where is that revenue going to be spent?

If the council wants to save money, instead of increasing charges it could end the taxpayer funding of unions, which cost Sheffield council taxpayers over £631K in 2010/11. UNISON alone received over £346K, almost enough to prevent the rise in parking permits.

Sheffield council taxpayers are being hit by large rises when they can least afford it, and the council is deliberately targeting those who have no choice but to pay up.Sheffield City Council has found a new way of raising revenue, and as usual it is hard pressed council taxpayers who will have to dig deeper into their pockets. Although the council is planning to accept the government's offer of a grant and intends to freeze council tax for the forthcoming financial year, many residents and businesses are about to be hit in the pocket by rises in parking permits.

I'm not talking about 5% or even 10%. If you have one car, the cost of a permit will double from £10 to £20. If you have a second car, the cost will increase from £30 to £60. Businesses are also being hit with the cost of a permit rising for a first vehicle from £20 to £40, and charges for a second business vehicle will increase from £60 to £90.  A visitor permit, currently costing £2.50 will rise four-fold to £10. Even charges for carers will double. It is estimated these rises will swell the council's coffers by £352K. 

The council has stated that 'parking permits are being doubled as part of efforts to absorb £55 million of funding cuts.' This in itself raises questions of legality. The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 says that parking regulations should be revenue neutral, and any surpluses should be spent on “transport related purposes and other environmental schemes." As the council is admitting the increases are being introduced to raise extra revenue, where is that revenue going to be spent?

If the council wants to save money, instead of increasing charges it could end the taxpayer funding of unions, which cost Sheffield council taxpayers over £631K in 2010/11. UNISON alone received over £346K, almost enough to prevent the rise in parking permits.

Sheffield council taxpayers are being hit by large rises when they can least afford it, and the council is deliberately targeting those who have no choice but to pay up.

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