Sunday, 4 August 2013

A tax imposed by Bootle and paid in Southport?

Local Lib Dem councillors have told Sefton Council that Parking charges locally must not be allowed to turn into a penal tax on local motorists and shoppers in Southport.

Following High Court decision last week when Mrs Justice Lang declared that the1984 Road Traffic Regulation Act "is not a fiscal measure and does not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge local residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes" Lib Dem councillors have asked for evidence that the council are acting in accordance with the law

Libs Dems opposed the Sefton Labour Councillors when they voted (Council Budget, February 2012) to raise a further £ 1/2 million from parking charges and penalties. Council officers are currently working out precisely how to do this before a public consultation this autumn. This would push Sefton Council up from being the 101st recipient of parking cash to being no 70 in the national list.

Town Centre Lib Dem Councillor Tony Dawson says:

"Parking charges were first brought in 30 years ago to stop shop and office employees blocking shoppers by sitting in prime spaces day after day. But the Council's profit out of this activity has ratcheted up over the years. I do get the feeling that the scale of rise being proposed represents an 'easy hit' on Southport by Labour councillors based in Bootle.  

Cllr Iain Brodie Browne, local Lib Dem Lead said ‘ It is clear from the court ruling that Councils cannot use income from parking charges to plug the black hole in their budget. In Southport’s case it is particularly unfair as 80% of all parking revenue comes from Southport hardly any is collected elsewhere in the borough. The massive hike in parking charges that Labour plan will hit Southport very hard. Our town’s economy is based on attracting visitors and these increased charges could damage our recovery. This is a time to assist our retailers and tourist attractions not to impose higher taxes on them

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