ELDC ‘does not recognise’ where RAC’S £1.5m parking income figure came from and insists parking in East Lindsey is good value for money


East Lindsey District Council says it ‘does not recognise’ claims by the RAC Foundation that it raked in nearly £1.5 million from parking charges in 2011/12.

The RAC Foundation yesterday released figures showing some councils are racking up huge surpluses from their parking-charge activities, a total of £565 million for councils in England.

East Lindsey District Council has caused controversy recently by increasing its parking charges in towns including Louth and Horncastle from April and introducing charges for the first time in some locations.

ELDC’s portfolio holder for the environment, Coun Steve Newton, said the number of tickets issued in East Lindsey in comparison to last year has risen, but that ‘we will review the car parking arrangements in the coming months’.

RAC Foundation director Professor Stephen Glaister said that for many local authorities, parking charges are a ‘nice little earner’.

But ELDC has today said it has no idea how the RAC Foundation came by the figures.

“We do not recognise the figures presented by the RAC and do not know how they have been reached,” said spokesman James Gilbert.

“The RAC themselves admit in their own report that the figures presented do not accurately reflect councils’ published accounts due to different treatment of overheads and associated costs.

“It is important to understand that ‘operating costs’ for car parks are more than just a meter; you also have maintenance and repairs, business rates, waste disposal and litter picking.

“In some cases there is also lighting, CCTV and toilet facilities to be factored in.

“The parking tariffs available represent good value for money to motorists.”

Local Government secretary Eric Pickles said: “This £635 million municipal parking profit shows why we need to review and rein in unfair town hall parking rules.

“This Government has scrapped the last administration’s Whitehall rules which told councils to hike up parking charges and adopt aggressive parking enforcement.

“But councils aren’t listening, and local shops and hard-working families are suffering as a result.

“The law is clear that parking is not a tax or cash cow for town hall officers.”