News that Westminster City Council topped the RAC’s list of Council parking charges with a surplus of £41.6 million comes at a time when over 90% of Westminster car owners will be hit by a 22.6% increase in the cost of their residents’ parking permits as the Council imposes a 6.5% inflation increase, plus a further increase as the Council scraps the current discount for on-line applications. Secretary of State Eric Pickles has claimed that the results of the RAC survey shows “why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules”.
The cost of an on-line parking permit in Westminster is currently £115 a year (and £132 for applications in person) and over 90% of car owners apply on line. The cost of a residents’ parking permit increased by £19 to £134 on 1st July 2013 and will increase by a full £26 a year to £141 on 1st July 2014.
The Council say that the price increase and on-line discount abolition will raise over £1.4 million extra for the Council;
“the phased removal of the online discount over 2 years would potentially result in an additional £672,000 in income. Assuming that the number of permits remains unchanged, the effect of the inflationary increase in permit prices will potentially result in income increasing in the region of £439,000 in the financial year 2013/14 and £742,000 in 2014/15.”
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“Westminster Conservatives continue to use residents as their own personal ‘cash machine’. Penalising residents who pay on-line by scrapping the current discount is the latest scam and is very poor customer service. Westminster is adopting the same sharp practices employed by some of the much-criticised budget airlines and pay-day lenders.”