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Counting the cost of parking: How did your council fare?

MDEP-16-11-2016-031 Broad Street Car Park Harleston
MDEP-16-11-2016-031 Broad Street Car Park Harleston

The subject of car parking is nothing new for residents in the Diss Express area – but new figures have revealed that councils are paying the price to provide parking.

Figures released by the RAC Foundation revealed that Breckland Council has a £194,000 deficit for its car parks, ranking 342 on the foundation’s list.

Any money we make, we reinvest into maintaining and running them for residents and visitors
South Norfolk Councillor Lee Hornby

Cllr Paul Claussen, Breckland Council’s executive member for place, said: “Breckland Council doesn’t charge residents or visitors to park in any of the 31 car parks it owns.

“Maintaining these requires investment by the council and, therefore, our car parks operate at a loss.”

South Norfolk Council fared better, with a deficit of £35,000, ranking 316 on the list.

This figure in South Norfolk has fluctuated over the years.

It lost £44,000 in 2012/13, £26,000 in 2013/14, and £6,000 in 2014/15.

For 2015/16, there was a surplus – but it was only £4,000.

South Norfolk cabinet member for regulation and public safety Councillor Lee Hornby said: “The council does not make a profit from car parks. Any money we make, we reinvest into maintaining and running them for residents and visitors.”

Mid Suffolk had a surplus of £481,000 for 2016/17 – an increase on the previous year’s figure of £458,000.

English councils made a record £819 million from parking operations in the last financial year.

The figure for 2016-17 is 10 per cent higher than the £744 million made in the previous financial year.

This comprised both parking charges, fees, permits and penalty notices.

At the same time, the councils spent £763 million on running their parking operations – up 2 per cent year-on-year.

Out of all councils, Westminster scooped the top spot on the RAC Foundation’s ranking – having the largest surplus at £73.2 million.

To see the full list of councils across the country in the study, go to www.racfoundation.org.

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