U-turn over parking charge permit increase

Darlington and Stockton Times: VICTORY: Cllr Ian Galletley, who campaigned against an increase in residents' parking permit charges VICTORY: Cllr Ian Galletley, who campaigned against an increase in residents' parking permit charges

A COUNCIL has made a U-turn over a controversial decision to increase charges for residents’ parking permits after admitting the rise was 'aggressive' and out of line with neighbouring authorities.

Darlington Borough Council had planned to increase the cost of renewing a parking zone permit from £40 to £50 in April this year.

However the authority has chosen to leave the charge at £40 after Darlington resident Garry Hinton and Conservative councillor Ian Galletley, who represents the College ward, questioned the legality of the rise.

Cllr Galletley asked the council to provide figures on how much it costs to run residents’ parking zones (RPZ) and how much income the system generates following a High Court ruling that councils cannot use RPZs to generate additional income.

Figures initially released by the council did not include income from on-street pay and display parking and showed the system was running at a deficit, leading to the proposed increase in the cost of a permit.

However the authority has since said it should have included on-street pay and display parking in the figures, and has agreed to freeze the charge at £40 until 2016, when officers will review the system.

In a statement sent to Cllr Galletley, the authority stated that while the increase was justifiable, it was aggressive and out of line with neighbouring authorities.

Mr Hinton, who lives in a street with an RPZ, said the U-turn was a small victory for Darlington residents.

Cllr Galletley said: “The council now accepts that it issued misleading advice to councillors and, thereby, to the public by failing to include appropriate elements of costs and income in its conclusions and advice.

“This whole sorry episode, which has lasted seven months, has taught us several lessons. Conservative questions have been ignored and replies delayed because they were asked by Conservatives.

“Darlington Borough Council is ripping off motorists, taking exorbitant sums for parking and levelling the highest charges for residents outside London.”

A council spokeswoman said the authority is able to charge for permits if the money is reinvested in transport and highways.

She said: “The council fulfils this requirement, investing significantly more in highway maintenance each year than income from parking.

“They were introduced to reduce congestion and help people could get a space to park their car near to where they live.

“The parking service in total, including off-street parking and short stay car parks, generates £1.68 million profit. This money is used for highways work including repairs to school crossings, street lighting and potholes, work which costs more than £5 million each year.”

Comments (7)

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10:14am Sat 17 May 14

thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth says...

This is extortion pure and simple. This disgusting Council of thieves will stop at nothing to bleed the residents of this town dry. they should all hang their heads in shame.
This is extortion pure and simple. This disgusting Council of thieves will stop at nothing to bleed the residents of this town dry. they should all hang their heads in shame. thetruthyoucanthandlethetruth
  • Score: 15

10:42am Sat 17 May 14

oliviaden6 says...

Nothing new about this council. They are slowly bankrupting us all with there waste and ill conceived plans. The only one's coming out on top are Bill and His Buddies. SHAME ON THEM.
Nothing new about this council. They are slowly bankrupting us all with there waste and ill conceived plans. The only one's coming out on top are Bill and His Buddies. SHAME ON THEM. oliviaden6
  • Score: 11

2:46pm Sat 17 May 14

359282 says...

Darlington charging the highest fees outside London for resident parking.... At last we have identified something that DBC excell at !
Darlington charging the highest fees outside London for resident parking.... At last we have identified something that DBC excell at ! 359282
  • Score: 12

3:02pm Sat 17 May 14

Darloresident says...

Disgusting low lifes - thats what this council are... They tried to get away with the increases by not giving true information on the profits raised from parking charges.Thank goodness some councillors didnt just take the councils word regarding the figures..
They have already got more central government money for fixing potholes and then they have the cheek to say that pothole fixing comes from parking profits.. This town is littered with potholes on North East South and West approaches - when was the last time you saw the council fixing a pothole (apart from Duke St last year) ???
Puffing Billy and his gravy train mates are a bunch of self serving useless incompetent feckless wasters..Please vote em out next election..
Disgusting low lifes - thats what this council are... They tried to get away with the increases by not giving true information on the profits raised from parking charges.Thank goodness some councillors didnt just take the councils word regarding the figures.. They have already got more central government money for fixing potholes and then they have the cheek to say that pothole fixing comes from parking profits.. This town is littered with potholes on North East South and West approaches - when was the last time you saw the council fixing a pothole (apart from Duke St last year) ??? Puffing Billy and his gravy train mates are a bunch of self serving useless incompetent feckless wasters..Please vote em out next election.. Darloresident
  • Score: 11

4:45pm Sat 17 May 14

judygone says...

“The parking service in total, including off-street parking and short stay car parks, generates £1.68 million profit. This money is used for highways work including repairs to school crossings, street lighting and potholes, work which costs more than £5 million each year.”
So why are our roads full of pot holes ?? Greedy money grabbing IDIOTS !
“The parking service in total, including off-street parking and short stay car parks, generates £1.68 million profit. This money is used for highways work including repairs to school crossings, street lighting and potholes, work which costs more than £5 million each year.” So why are our roads full of pot holes ?? Greedy money grabbing IDIOTS ! judygone
  • Score: 9

7:55am Sun 18 May 14

thevoiceofthevoiceless says...

I for one now will just vote for whoever is likely to get into power as councils get more from government if they are the same party. As it likely the Tories will win because Ed is a bit wet and useless and the hangover from the economic crisis still sticks to labour I will vote Tory for the first time ever to try and get this town some rub of the green and more funding

Parking charges are a disgrace in this town - went to boro the other day 2 hours free parking absolutely brilliant - shame on you labour council for running the town centre into the ground
I for one now will just vote for whoever is likely to get into power as councils get more from government if they are the same party. As it likely the Tories will win because Ed is a bit wet and useless and the hangover from the economic crisis still sticks to labour I will vote Tory for the first time ever to try and get this town some rub of the green and more funding Parking charges are a disgrace in this town - went to boro the other day 2 hours free parking absolutely brilliant - shame on you labour council for running the town centre into the ground thevoiceofthevoiceless
  • Score: 6

1:22am Mon 19 May 14

Spy Boy says...

oliviaden6 wrote:
Nothing new about this council. They are slowly bankrupting us all with there waste and ill conceived plans. The only one's coming out on top are Bill and His Buddies. SHAME ON THEM.
And why so many of them at the top? Far too many overpaid, unelected executives. Too much waste and to many money snatching schemes.
[quote][p][bold]oliviaden6[/bold] wrote: Nothing new about this council. They are slowly bankrupting us all with there waste and ill conceived plans. The only one's coming out on top are Bill and His Buddies. SHAME ON THEM.[/p][/quote]And why so many of them at the top? Far too many overpaid, unelected executives. Too much waste and to many money snatching schemes. Spy Boy
  • Score: 2

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