Murky Depths

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Greenwich borough

Another Greenwich council £1.4 million parking budget miss this year

Poor parking and no cycle lane along major Woolwich road

With the financial year almost over Greenwich Council are looking at another £1.4 million black hole in their parking budget. That will mean other areas of spending raided to plug the gap.

It’s quite impressive how they continue to do so despite implementing more controlled parking zones.

This latest miss follows a year of numerous parking problems in many, many areas which culminated in 130 bus drivers threatening to no longer stop in certain areas of Plumstead due to bad parking. The authority have been informed hundreds, if not thousands of times.

Buses could stop calling at Plumstead station

It’s a slight improvement of £2 million shortfall seen around 2015 and 2016 but this is  a lamentable performance – especially at the time of cuts. This is 2015/16:

Spot the similarities to this year: “An agreed parking strategy is being used as the basis for a number of initiatives…”. A nice cut and paste. Little changes.

There’s been no progress since 2017/18 to 2018/19:

Mind you this and last year’s £1.4 million is a slight improvement from £2 million in 2015/16 and 2016/17:

Parking income is budgeted for funding concessionary passes. A reduced income means money must be sourced elsewhere – and we are now talking almost £12 million since 2011/12.

Cuts from central government to local government have hit extremely hard but failing to tackle issues with parking results in some asking why they should pay a council tax rise almost three times the rate of inflation from April. The authority loses the moral high ground when it cannot get to grips with this for so long.

To compound issues they outsourced parking on estates and some shopping areas to a private company in 2014 and receive no income from fines. They then renewed the contract in mid-2018.

Abbey Wood estate

Goodness knows the borough has enough problems with bad parking as chronicled to the point of tedium on this site. I keep at it as it shows how flawed some department’s working practices are, how un-reactive some politicians in charge have been (for years) and how this is costing many people dearly. And badly affecting multi-million pound upgrade schemes.

Finally in recent months 10 agency workers have been hired and authorisation sought for CCTV usage. Why that didn’t happen years ago is a mystery as funding gaps appeared year after year.

9 Comments

  1. Graham

    The council needs to get to grips with these parking issues and tackle them head on. The parking problems in Plumstead and Eltham High Street are terrible and dangerous to be honest with the way some cars and vans are parked.Also making it very difficult for pedestrians. Other areas throughout the Borough also suffer the same problems

    I do not why the council still have a 1.4million black hole in the parking budget. Plumstead and Eltham High Street to name only two areas with serious parking issues could raise several hundred thousands of pounds in parking fees

    Other people get a ticket slapped on their vehicle if they are late back to their vehicle by a few minutes because they have been stuck in a queue at the bank or checkout for example.

    Is it because they won’t tackle some areas like Plumstead and Eltham for fear of upsetting the community and in turn losing votes which they rely on.

    If the parking budget helps to bring in funding for the Council which could go towards Council services and to reduce some cuts to services being made. Then the Council should be out there collecting this money and issuing the fines for illegal parking.

  2. Billy Bob

    Greenwich Council continually prove that they are not fit for purpose, they screw up nearly everything they touch. Unfortunately the councillors, when challenged, leave a lot to be desired as well and are NOT FIT to hold the office they serve.

  3. Graham

    Greenwich Council have to be held responsible for some of the cuts they are to face in the next financial year 2019-2020. Due to large sums of money being wasted on consultations they then do nothing with. They have GLLAB and GS Plus that are both being operated with huge financial losses. .

    GLLAB has had hundreds of thousands of pounds due to spent on other projects re-directed to GLLAB with other projects including housing projects postponed or cancelled. (Many of which have been reported by Murky on this site). The council employs a lot of agency staff at huge expense to council. As well as paying the staff they have to pay the agencies their fees.

    I am sure by tackling these problems the Council could find a couple of million pounds to spend on front line services the council tax payer pays for.

  4. CDT

    Perhaps if the traffic wardens were privatised and operated by a private company (Not connected to Greenwich Council in the way GS Plus is) then we might see a more robust parking enforcement policy taking place and these illegal parking problems tackled and more fines issued for the Council resulting in more income for the council to be spent on essential services provided with in the Borough.

    • HK

      As far as I know, parking fines are not allowed to be used for essential services – our coucil tax is supposed to be for that. I don’t know if that’s now changed?

      • fromthemurkydepths

        Parking fine income is ringfenced to transport spending. On average a London borough will receive enough to fund concessionary passes for residents and have enough left over for transport improvements such as laying new tarmac, improving certain areas, pothole repair and more. Greenwich receive so little from parking fines (despite clear problems borough wide) they raid other funds to make up the gap.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      They’ve done exactly that on estates and shopping areas with Wings Security. Enforcement is non-existent

  5. Graham

    As well documented Greenwich Council have an habit of using funds raised through other revenues and section 106 money from Developers to fund their pet projects (GLLAB,The free Greenwich Info Magazine and GS Plus) at the expense of other projects. GS Plus is operating with over a 2 million pound loss. GLLAB has seen hundreds of thousands of pounds given to them from section 106 money from developers.

    Section 106 should be used in the areas around new developments to improve the public realm (areas around new developments) and on improving other housing estates near by and also to improve public transport in these areas including improving existing bus routes and providing new bus routes. .

    So I am sure Greenwich Council could use some funds from extra parking charges to reduce some of the cuts to front line services.

    So Greenwich Council have to take some responsibility for the cuts they have to make in the next financial year 2019-2020.

    That said I would like to see some extra funding provided by Central Government for services for children/vulnerable children, vulnerable adults and the disabled which is ring fenced so this money cannot be spent elsewhere by Local Authorities the money is allocated to.

  6. CDT

    I cannot see Greenwich Council changing anything to improve revenue received from parking fine income to be honest. If Wing Security has already been used and enforcement is still non existent on some estates and shopping areas. Then I have no idea what will happen now. £1.4million is a massive amount of money for any council to lose from it’s budget, On top of Government funding cuts to Local Authorities.

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