Profits from parking are criticised

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LOCAL councils are making large profits from parking charges and fines, RAC Foundation figures reveal.

Details released on Thursday show the vast majority of local authorities in England generate a surplus from their parking activities.

Adur Council was ranked 275 out of the 353 English councils, with a surplus of £112,000 in 2011/12.

The figure compared to £182,000 in 2010/11, and £66,000 in 2009/10.

Adur Council chairman Mike Mendoza said: “It has always been our policy, and I hope it stays that way, that we would not charge for on-street parking, thus protecting our traders and making it easier for shoppers to support traders in our district.

“We do, however, charge for the use of car parks and that has to be fair in order to maintain them in good condition and not to be a burden on the council taxpayer.”

Over in Worthing, the borough council was ranked much higher than Adur, at 142, with a £974,000 surplus in 2011/12.

The figure compared to £545,000 in 2010/11 and £883,000 in 2009/10.

The RAC Foundation, an independent industry body, ranked local authority areas on how much revenue they received from motorists. The data comes from annual council returns.

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

“This govenrment 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.”