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Highlighting the flaws in how parking millions are spent

PUBLISHED: 19:02 02 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:27 07 September 2010

AT long last a councillor has come out in support of what this newspaper has been advocating for years - the freeing up of revenues earned from parking enforcement for wider use in the community, as opposed to the money burning holes in the pockets of loc

AT long last a councillor has come out in support of what this newspaper has been advocating for years - the freeing up of revenues earned from parking enforcement for wider use in the community, as opposed to the money burning holes in the pockets of local authorities.

As things stand, councils are obliged to spend their parking millions on a limited number of ways, usually associated with roads and pavements. That's why they appear to have a limitless supply of cash to spend for road humps, speed tables, signposts, wrought iron fencing, crazy paving and any number of other 'traffic calming' measures, whether you want them or not.

Now Camden's Theo Blackwell is calling for some of the parking enforcement booty to be diverted into the hands of new community forums for use on agreed projects. There is a danger of over-egging the pudding, but we have long argued that the public's attitude to parking enforcement would be softened if more of the proceeds were spent where it is needed most.

Councils, however, cannot continue to treat parking enforcement as a lucrative earner. Given the excesses of local authorities around the country, there is a very strong case for a root and branch reform at national level, which sets much stricter rules for them to follow. This is something a recent government-inspired review set out to address, but failed dismally to achieve.

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