Haringey figures on Parking and enforcement don’t add up
Discrepancies found compering Haringey annual reports published in 2010 and Haringey response to FOI Feb 2011
On the 28 December 2010 Haringey was presented with a FOI requesting information on:“Parking Profits and Disposition – Charges + Penalties – Onstreet + Offstreet – 1991 to 2010”The FOI was published in www.WhatDoTheyKnow.com
Haringey finally responded on the 4th of Feb 2011 with: “Detailed below are the last six years of key financial data that which we have.”
It took Haringey 5 weeks to provide data, which is publicly available on their website for months in the form of the Haringey Parking Annual Report 2009/2010. But a close look at the figures for 2009/10 provided in the FOI, DO NOT MATCH that which is published in the annual report.
- PCN income: in the foi is £7,309,000 and in the annual report it is £7,310,00.
A discrepancy of £1,000
- Car Park income: in the foi is £445,000 and in the annual report it £508,000.
A discrepancy of £63,000
So which version of reality is correct?
Haringey response to FOI Feb 2011
in red are the figures that don’t match
ON STREET PARKING
|Pay & Display||850,000||855,000||932,000||1,227,000||1,612,000||1,805,000|
|Clamping & Removal||845,000||1,179,000||1,009,000||763,000||644,000||668,000|
OFF STREET PARKING
|Car Park Income||488,000||485,000||515,000||544,000||478,000||445,000|
From 2009/2010 Parking Annual Report
Haringey to hike CPZ permits’ charges despite a significant surplus
The cost of CPZ permits is set to rise once again after another review by Haringey Parking department, despite having a significant and growing surplus consistently over the last few years. (see below surplus of 2009/10 is over £3,000,000 – 25% of all the parking income put together) The main reason behind the latest charge hike is to bring the charges to the level of London average.
Why is this needed or how Haringey residents are going to benefit from such a move is unclear. This could be easily considered as price fixing or the creation of a cartel, rather then aiming at giving the public value for money.
It is also far from reflecting the letter of the law: “11. Raising revenue should not be an objective of CPE, nor should targets be set for raising revenue or the number of PCNs to be issued.” ‘The control parking act’ ( Annex A)
From 2009/2010 Parking Annual Report
The table below shows the income and expenditure for the Parking Account and the amount of surplus generated.
For more detailed information please look at Haringey Parking Annual Report 2009/2010
CPZ permit’s charges – Brief history
While Haringey were consulting us in 2007 on CO2 Emission CPZ Charges, we discovered that putting the price up was on the cards way before the consultation to introduced a Pay and Display and residential CPZ scheme, into Bounce Green, Muswell Hill, Crouch,Hornsey and Stroud Green.
Minutes and Agendas documents from Haringey cabinet meetings show that a deficit in the parking budget was a known issue even before the local elections of spring 2006, but was continually differed forward to be dealt with AFTER more areas are captured into the networks of Haringey CPZs and indeed the announcement of the changes to the charges came within a short time after of the End of the 2006 CPZ consultation.
To assess the proposed scheme, we looked at a similar scheme introduced by Richmond Council, which was the first and only council to introduce a CO2 emissions parking charges at the time.
Setting the level of parking charges – The legal framework
Richmond had 2 legal advisors exploring the legality of the scheme, as outlined in Richmond’s report to cabinet. It gives reference to the transport acts, which gives power to local authority to have variable charges on parking. It also points to policies, which allow councils to tackle air pollution if they are declared an ‘Air Quality Management Area’ (AQMA), which both Richmond and Haringey are and further discuss whether or not the proposals constitute a tax, i.e. revenue-raising
9.3 … “Two specific issues raised by a number of respondents related to the
extent of the Council’s powers under section 45 of the Road Traffic Regulation
Act 1984 and whether the proposals constitute a tax, i.e. are revenue-raising.”…
This last point is significant. According to ‘The control parking act’ ( Annex A) Raising revenue should not be an objective of CPE:
“11. Raising revenue should not be an objective of CPE, nor should targets be set for raising revenue or the number of PCNs to be issued.”
12. … “Charges should be proportionate, and hence authorities should not set unreasonable levels of parking or penalty charges. If penalty charges are received then these may be used to cover expenditure. But authorities should not set targets in order to produce financial surpluses.“
Richmond legal advise explains why Richmond opted to adopted REVENUE NUTRAL attitude! Because if it is REVENUE RAISING it will be unlawful.
This is an interesting point and highly relevant to our case here. Haringey Executive was directed and urged by officers’ reports to raise CPZ charges as mentioned throughout the reports and documents attached to Exec meeting, for purely financial reasons! (see at the end of this page)
Looking at the figures of the transport budget together with the information reviled by the Journal FOI (June 2006) into the total revenue Haringey makes out of CPZ’s from both permits and fines, DID RAISE SERIOUS QUESTIONS whether or not Haringey comply with the LAW as outlined above.
Plugging a hole or creating a surplus?
When Haringey presented their figures and rational for setting the levels of the new parking charges, they claimed this will only plug the whole in the budget, but things did not add up as neatly as presented. GreenN8 warned that by our ruff calculation, Haringey will be pocketing a hefty surplus of NET PROFIT. This was based on the sale of residential permits alone and did not include any of the other lucrative parts of the budget like penalties or clamping to name a few.
Now few years down the line, what was a theoretical mathematical riddle and speculations on by parts, has turned into facts on the ground and we can look at the true figures and check whether or not Haringey parking budget is revenue neutral, or did it indeed create a surplus as we predicted.
The table below taken from Haringey Parking Annual Report shows a surplus of £2,559,000 for 2008-09
Can we have the cake and eat it at the same time?
Haringey seem to manage to offer a free CPZ scheme to residents living around Tottenaham football stadium… But is it possible to have a CPZ at zero cost to all local residents in Haringey?
A glance at the figures above suggests it is indeed possible.
According to Haringey published accounts the income from all types of parking permits comes to £2,058,000. Although we do not know from the table above what portion of this princely some comes from residential CPZ permits, we do know that the surplus is even bigger – £2,559,000 so even if ALL parking permits were handed out for FREE we would still have over £500,000 net profit surplus per year from parking.
In reality this will be an even bigger surplus if you add the reduction of the cost associated with administrating the sales of permits.
So yes it seems we can definitely keep the CPZ cake while eating it at the same time.
CPZ permit price review – October 2010 may result in yet higher charges
Despite all the above Haringey Council is telling us, that we should not relay on the CPZ permit cost which they publish within all the consultation leaflets, as they plan to review the cost of CPZ permits in October 2010 while hinting that this may result in higher charges.
How can another price hick be justified this time?
Maybe Haringey didn’t expect residents to find their Parking annual report?
Has anyone noticed that there is a contradiction in the figures presented by Haringey when compering the officers report to cabinet below claiming a short fall of £500,000 in the parking budget which miraculously disappeared in the table above?
As per usual things do not add up, and a lot more questions need to be asked and answered