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Parking Fines To Double As Councils Demand 'stealth Tax' In The Wake Of Cuts

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1331809/Parking-fines-double-councils-demand-London-priced-tickets-pay-shortfall.html

Parking fines could nearly double as councils try to hit motorists across the country with £120 penalties.

Local authorities insist the move is needed as the current £70 fine payable outside London is not enough of a deterrent.

And the British Parking Association says the extra money is needed to meet the rising cost of parking management.

A number of councils have already lobbied the Government for an increase.

But opponents of the move say the fines are simply a stealth tax that will be used as a ‘cash cow’ – in breach of Whitehall guidelines – to fund revenue at a time of austerity cuts.

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has warned councils that they must cope with cuts of more than a quarter of their budgets without damaging services.

Outside London, a parking fine is £70, reduced to £35 for early payment, while in the capital it is £120, reduced to £60 if paid early.

Councils want the £120 charge to be implemented across the country.

Nice to see someone looking at a the current number of fines issues and calculating what they "could" make if only they could increase the fine.

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If the council would enforce parking regulations at all it would be a start. Here in Bristol you can park where you want, on pavements, corners or even completely blocking the road. No action what so ever.

How about getting those equality-diversity officers out dressed up as traffic wardens?

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Makes sense. £70 barely gets you a loaf of bread these days. Personally, I find it easier to park a mile out of the town centre followed by a 10minute walk. Never had a parking ticket in fifteen years.

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At least this is a 'stealth tax' that you can avoid.

That's true of many of them. In this case it's better than that: it's one whose avoidance is a clear benefit to the world at large, without reference to the money.

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Look at the finances of most UK councils and you find they are in meltdown, (certainly in the South), deficits of several million pounds are not uncommon, they have to try to get some cash somewhere what with the Government cutting back

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1331809/Parking-fines-double-councils-demand-London-priced-tickets-pay-shortfall.html

Nice to see someone looking at a the current number of fines issues and calculating what they "could" make if only they could increase the fine.

I already seen council put up parking charges by 50%. in some places. At least this tax is voluntary.

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I have a lot of sympathy for councils (vested interest in that about 50% of my clients are councils) and the way the cuts are being implemented.

As an example:

In 2003 when I started working with local councils I did a year long project at a council putting in an HR system, creating reports etc - they had 600 members of staff.

They charged a council tax of £0 a year to reduce the amount they held in reserve (remember of your £1000+ council tax only about 15% goes to your district council)

When the reserves came down they put the council tax up to about £70 a year with the aim of slowly increasing it to £130 (about 25% less than the national average) over a 10 year period.

However in 2005 Labour capped council tax increases at 5% per annum with no negotiation. They therefore were stuck on about £80 per annum as the maximum charge despite this not covering costs.

They had planned to reduce headcount over the next 7 years to 480 but instead had to go to 400 to cover the funding defecit.

This means they run a skeletal service, people wait longer for services and only the things they have to do are done. They also had to reduce spending by 3% a year over the last 4 years to meet the Gershon review requirements

Now the new government is going to cut their central government funding by 27% but demands the services are not cut.

Clearly there is waste in local government, I know of 2 councils who bought software packages for several hundred thousand that don't work and aren't used, but the cuts they are facing are ludicrously harsh.

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I already seen council put up parking charges by 50%. in some places. At least this tax is voluntary.

Yep, stay out of town centers.

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And what.............. Uk people will accept it. They never say "no! sorry, ain't gonna happen! or I won't pay".

A few months ago this same issue was discussed in France, they wanted to raise the parking fine from the current 12€ (yes i know it is ridiculous) to 20€. French people reacted and put pressure onto some ministers, result: a mere increase of 3€, putting the parking fine to a grand total of 15€.

And yet French people are still finding it hard to swallow.

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And what.............. Uk people will accept it. They never say "no! sorry, ain't gonna happen! or I won't pay".

A few months ago this same issue was discussed in France, they wanted to raise the parking fine from the current 12€ (yes i know it is ridiculous) to 20€. French people reacted and put pressure onto some ministers, result: a mere increase of 3€, putting the parking fine to a grand total of 15€.

And yet French people are still finding it hard to swallow.

Quite right - it is still massively disproportional to the 'crime' committed.

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Bloody scum.

I only ever once got a parking ticket, back when i started driving. Was within the bay, council came along with a truck, lifted my car onto it, move it 100 yards down the road onto double yellows, took photos of it on the yellows, put it back on truck and take it to the impound yard, and demand £250.

Its about then i realised dont trust the government or civil servants. All scum. NHS Doctors suggest to abort you before you're even born, and it gets worse on from there.

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What amazes me is that, despite the eye-watering levels of parking fines, people still park illegally. It's just not rational.

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What amazes me is that, despite the eye-watering levels of parking fines, people still park illegally. It's just not rational.

Maybe try living in a city for a bit. The one year wait for a permit to park outside your house means that you are moving your car every 4 hours from bay to bay (at £3 or £4 quid a time). It's impossible not to overstay once in a while (sleeping in or something at work requiring to you to leave for lunch half an hour later) resulting in a £70 fine. Having to live your life looking at the clock in order to avoid getting fined is an irrational state of a affairs in my opinion.

And before you say "why not sell the car" that kind of avoids the point you were making which assumed that people make a rational decision to park illegally and accept a fine.

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Yep, stay out of town centers.

You get to know where you can and where you can't park...use the space until the council find it....I agree about parking a few roads away from where you want to be and walk, keeps you fit. ;)

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Maybe try living in a city for a bit. The one year wait for a permit to park outside your house means that you are moving your car every 4 hours from bay to bay (at £3 or £4 quid a time). It's impossible not to overstay once in a while (sleeping in or something at work requiring to you to leave for lunch half an hour later) resulting in a £70 fine. Having to live your life looking at the clock in order to avoid getting fined is an irrational state of a affairs in my opinion.

And before you say "why not sell the car" that kind of avoids the point you were making which assumed that people make a rational decision to park illegally and accept a fine.

I don't follow. Are you saying that for a year you had no choice but to park your car at £1 an hour in a parking bay outside your own house and move it every 4 hours? That's over £2300 a year in parking fees! That's barmy, even before you throw in some parking tickets.

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Bloody scum.

I only ever once got a parking ticket, back when i started driving. Was within the bay, council came along with a truck, lifted my car onto it, move it 100 yards down the road onto double yellows, took photos of it on the yellows, put it back on truck and take it to the impound yard, and demand £250.

Armies of wardens and photographers are employed by the councils. Not to mention the fleet of fine processors at the so-called 'Northampton Enforcement Office'.

I posted earlier that I wished to protest my fine for overstaying by ten minutes. It was very interesting to discover that there is almost no way to do this. The whole system bears no relation to any construct of English law or justice or proportionality. Parking is not a crime -, but you can and will be punished. The council's 'Northampton Enforcement Office' is run by Her Majesty's Court Service - except that it isn't a court at all. You can't get a hearing and appeals are only allowed by tick box forms with limited grounds and processed by robojudges. No reasons are given for decisions, you have no idea who made them and no correspondence is possible. The council does not even bother to notify you that it has taken you to court, since you can't appear anyway.

In this area, the standard fine is £40 . . . soon doubled to £80. Attempt a protest, as I did, and you are in for £250.

As the OP observes, this is indeed the council's only means of collecting for its own unfunded pensions. You can't always avoid it, because sometimes delays in shops - and in banks particularly - can catch you out on the meter system. This is exactly why councils have cynically switched all the 'Pay On Exit' parkings (no 'offence' possible) to the meter system, which will rip innocently delayed shoppers. A fair, 'Pay On Exit' system would need no wardens, courts or photographers . . . so you can imagine how much the unfair system of penalties nets the councils each year.

Another thing about the tax being 'avoidable'. It is only avoidable if you OVERPAY on the meter system. Which everyone does. I was eventually fined £250 for underpaying by 10 minutes. But normally you always OVERPAY by at least an hour or so to avoid a fine. I have kept a record of how much I normally OVERPAY the council for parking. Hours and days each month. The councils suffer no loss, you don't commit any crime - let's make this clear, it was decriminalised years ago - yet you are punished. And all to fund the shortfall in council pensions.

I have had some interesting correspondence with my local MP (Con) and the local council's 'Head Of Transportation'. The replies do not address a single point I have raised.

(No surprise there then.)

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[quote name=Oh Well :(' timestamp='1290413350' post='2795872]

If the council would enforce parking regulations at all it would be a start. Here in Bristol you can park where you want, on pavements, corners or even completely blocking the road. No action what so ever.

How about getting those equality-diversity officers out dressed up as traffic wardens?

Lucky you, You should move to Westminster, you can get a ticket for parking on private land and your chances of not getting a ticket if you are illegally parked is nil.

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Charge pedestrians for walking on pavements I say.

---

The games up.

Maybe just maybe, councils are just too big, and beaurocatic.

Just get rid of 50% of the council staff and default on any pension deficits.

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You get to know where you can and where you can't park...use the space until the council find it....I agree about parking a few roads away from where you want to be and walk, keeps you fit. ;)

The whole of London is a no parking zone. Not much option.

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Armies of wardens and photographers are employed by the councils. Not to mention the fleet of fine processors at the so-called 'Northampton Enforcement Office'.

I posted earlier that I wished to protest my fine for overstaying by ten minutes. It was very interesting to discover that there is almost no way to do this. The whole system bears no relation to any construct of English law or justice or proportionality. Parking is not a crime -, but you can and will be punished. The council's 'Northampton Enforcement Office' is run by Her Majesty's Court Service - except that it isn't a court at all. You can't get a hearing and appeals are only allowed by tick box forms with limited grounds and processed by robojudges. No reasons are given for decisions, you have no idea who made them and no correspondence is possible. The council does not even bother to notify you that it has taken you to court, since you can't appear anyway.

In this area, the standard fine is £40 . . . soon doubled to £80. Attempt a protest, as I did, and you are in for £250.

As the OP observes, this is indeed the council's only means of collecting for its own unfunded pensions. You can't always avoid it, because sometimes delays in shops - and in banks particularly - can catch you out on the meter system. This is exactly why councils have cynically switched all the 'Pay On Exit' parkings (no 'offence' possible) to the meter system, which will rip innocently delayed shoppers. A fair, 'Pay On Exit' system would need no wardens, courts or photographers . . . so you can imagine how much the unfair system of penalties nets the councils each year.

Another thing about the tax being 'avoidable'. It is only avoidable if you OVERPAY on the meter system. Which everyone does. I was eventually fined £250 for underpaying by 10 minutes. But normally you always OVERPAY by at least an hour or so to avoid a fine. I have kept a record of how much I normally OVERPAY the council for parking. Hours and days each month. The councils suffer no loss, you don't commit any crime - let's make this clear, it was decriminalised years ago - yet you are punished. And all to fund the shortfall in council pensions.

I have had some interesting correspondence with my local MP (Con) and the local council's 'Head Of Transportation'. The replies do not address a single point I have raised.

(No surprise there then.)

The parking scam is just like the speeding fines scam...no means of appeal without risking huge cost. Why do we have to pay for parking....mainly to pay for jobs for the local bureaucrats and their nfat pensions. Wh

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[quote name=Oh Well :(' timestamp='1290413350' post='2795872]

If the council would enforce parking regulations at all it would be a start. Here in Bristol you can park where you want, on pavements, corners or even completely blocking the road. No action what so ever.

I'm not sure where you live, but try this on Gloucester Road on rush-hours and you'll have a pretty high chance of getting a fine. Pretty much 100%, so heavily area dependent.

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  • 145 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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