Parking costs and statutory services under pressure


Parking costs are likely to rise in the coming year as councils look to cover spiralling budgets, a poll has revealed.

Costs are expected to rise across local authority services, with 80% of councils polled by Transport Network's sister publication, The MJ, and the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) planning to increase prices to balance their 2015/16 budgets.

A recent report by the RAC Foundation suggested councils made a £667m surplus from parking in 2013/14.

Statutory transport services such as home to school support could also come under threat in the coming twelve months, with over half of responding town halls fearing they won’t have enough funding to cover their legal duties this year.

Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of LGiU, said: ‘Councils across the country are telling us that the local government finance system is broken. We know they are struggling to make ends meet as they balance their budgets for next year in a system that is out-dated and not fit for purpose.

'Removing the bureaucracy and control of central government and giving councils control over their own financial destiny is the only solution.’

A majority of questioned councils called for an end to the Barnett formula that sets public spending, while 82% said council tax should be re-evaluated by the next Government.

Support was also voiced for raising business rates retention, with three quarters stating these measures would allow them to become financially sustainable.

Heather Jameson, editor of The MJ, said: ‘The local government funding system is beyond broken and with the twin pressures of cuts and increasing demand councils are getting dangerously close to collapse.’

Local government minister Kris Hopkins emphasised the Government has provided a fairer deal for rural areas, covered costs for troubled families support and united health services while keeping council tax down and reducing the deficit.

The MJ story can be read here.


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