A Week of P’s – Parking

It is a week of P’s, first Planning and today my old favourite Parking. The dust has settled (briefly) on charging structures, but now it was time to get on with the work plan for the remaining year.

The issue of VAT and NDR has been a concern of the Panel for sometime. As I’ve blogged before, we hand over £1.7m in Vat and £3.4m in NDR to the Government. These charges come out of the revenue of car parking. The Panel has never liked this, and so it seems other Authorities feel the same. So much so they have taken the lead in addressing this.

The Panel has recommended that Cornwall Council writes to the Government raising the point that car parking charges should be exempt from VAT, or that the money raised this way should be handed back. Also, we have decided to write to those other Authorities that are campaigning on this subject to ask if we can lend support by means of a more united front. This way we would have a bigger and louder voice, and who knows, the HMRC might (and it’s a big might) listen to us.

Another issue on the Agenda for today was Concessionary/Free Permits. Currently we believe that there are around 4000 of these permits in circulation, many left over from the old District Council days. To be honest it is a complete mess as the figure could be higher. It means we are giving free car parking to organisations, businesses and public sector organisations. It is costing the Council (you and I) around £1m per year to subsidise these bodies. That means the coin we all place in the machines pays for others to park for free.

The Panel has decided to reconmmend to Cabinet the removal of all the current Concessionary Permits from April 1st 2011 except for those which are in place though a legal agreement, or are part of a licence. Of course there are some charity organisations and other well meeting bodies that could not survive without some help, so we have decided to make a new policy that will allow any organisation to apply for a Concessionary Permit subject to the approval of the appropriate Cabinet Member. So it is not a no never, but you will have to prove you really need it before it will be issued.

As always with Parking some people are not going to be happy. I don’t want to list all the users, organisations or bodies who have permits as that will take too long. It will be far simpler to give you the link to the Agenda item for you to look at some of those listed. Some of them are really shocking.

Click HERE for that link and enjoy.

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