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October 16, 2006

Comments

kris

Take it from someone who has been an "insider" at a council- your gut feeling is right. Parking generally belongs to a council's Environment Department. Leisure activities and facilities generally also come under the purview of the Environment Department.

With the new regime in power at Camden Council- and with their decision to ease back on tickets and clamping, they are having to come up with the cash by cutting council jobs.

Hackney would have to cut quite a few jobs to re-coup the 50M and counting on Clissold Leisure! So they can just chip away at people like you and me with parking fines.

Szwagier

At the risk of repeating myself,"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats".

janine

I got done picking my daughter up from school because I arrived ten minutes earlier than usual (4.20pm since you ask) and the bay was apparently pay and display until 4.30pm. £50.
It doesn't make you Jeremy Clarkson to be infuriated. I also got three points and a fine from a camera for going 5mph over the limit, but took it on the chin as I was, indeed, going over the speed limit and they're right - there's a reason for speed limits and I sure as hell haven't done it again. Not since the insurance renewal anyway.
But £50 for five minutes picking up outside my daughter's school? I realise I shouldn't be using the car for the school run in these enlightened times, but ask me why I need to? Because there was no primary school place for my daughter within five miles of my home, that's why.
Haringey, like Hackney, is broke so far as I can see and is busy introducing controlled parking zones into entirely uncongested streets to raise revenue where there was none before. Fine. I'll buy my permit and pay my fines, but I reserve the right to whinge about it. Clarkson, or no.

Luke Akehurst

Kris - your point unfortunately doesn't hold true as in Hackney leisure services are in a completely different directorate to parking. The parking fines money is ringfenced to be spent on running the scheme and transport. The CPZ in Clissold was introduced because local residents voted for it - some for environmental reasons, others just wanted to be able to park near their homes. In my ward residents are campaigning to have one (a CPZ).

Roldy

Give Dave his 50 quid back Luke.

Ms Baroque

This is why I'm glad I don't have a car.

Anyway Stoke Newington School is already marred by a huge off-street car park which makes it take five minutes to get from pavement to building on foot... so why couldn't they have let you park in there?

Martin McCallion

So how did you get your kids into Stoke Newington, Dave, if I may ask? As far as I can tell, we in Clapton are well outside the cachment area. And my son is in year 5 and I don't really like the academies...

kris

Luke said: "The parking fines money is ringfenced to be spent on running the scheme and transport".

Ok so paying parking attendants's wages, parking admin and "transport"? Clarification of transport please.

Roldy

Minutes from a 7th Dec 2005 select committee on transport summarises the permitted use of surplus parking income thus:

17. Parking enforcement income, together with income from on street parking charges, must under current legislation[12] go into a separate parking account. The legislation requires that any surplus of income over expenditure can only be used by boroughs in limited circumstances:

— For the provision of further parking facilities, on or off street, within or without the borough boundaries; and where further expenditure is either unnecessary or undesirable.
— On pubic transport facilities, services or improvements.
— On highway improvements.
— On road maintenance.
— On scheme to support the transport
strategy of the Mayor of London.
— On environmental improvements.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmtran/748/5120709.htm#n12)

However in Hackney council's draft 2005 parking enforcement plan they have a different take:

"Section 55 restricts expenditure of surplus on-street parking income to repayment of any parking account deficits previously charged against an authority’s general fund"

(www.hackney.gov.uk/servapps/reports/s_ViewRptDoc.ASP%3FID%3D3222+parking+seamus+adams+budget+surplus&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=2)

The way this is written suggests to me that they ARE paying part of the surplus back into the general fund and justifying it by saying it is for past parking deficits.

I expect the accounts are not robust enough to justify this.

Also they are only allowed to do this:

"if it appears to the local authority that the provision in their area of further off-street parking accommodation is unnecessary or undesirable".

You live there Dave. Do you think this is the case? Should it be put to the vote maybe?

In France they build underground car parks so people have a place to park.

In Hackney they squeeze people wishing to park in the borough with fines and charges to achieve a near £2 million pound surplus, some of which appears to go back, perhaps unlawfully, into the general fund of a council rated as ONE star out of FIVE by the audit commission, a council famous for past profligacy.

What they should be doing is building more parking facilities. However after the Clissold debacle perhaps more building projects fill the residents with just as much dread.

This might be because the councillors, who are supposed to represent the people of Hackney on this, are witless fools who prefer to make excuses and write sub sixth form debate class political BS on a blog, instead of doing their job.

What do you think Luke? Is this unfair?

Can you prove that surplus parking money has not gone back into the general fund? Show us the accounts maybe? Or are they not available?

Roldy

And Luke the residents voted for a Controlled Parking Zone because they had nowhere to park. This is because Hackney council failed to provide them with adequate parking, despite a two million pound surplus in the parking budget.

Enjoy your tour of the galaxy.

Dave Hill

Fuck me, this is a slice!

Roldy

With a fucking cherry on top

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