New figures show Greenwich Council’s parking income will once again fall short of budget expectations to the tune of £1 million.
This figure is however an improvement on previous years. For nearly a decade now, income targets have been missed, with sums totalling £8.4 million since 2014/15.
In 2014/14 it was £2.1 million below budgeted numbers. In 2015/16 the budget miss was £2.06 million. Note the same cut and paste sentence stating: “The agreed parking strategy is being used as the basis for a number of initiative”:
Those initiatives did little. In 2016/17 it was a £2 million shortfall:
There was some improvement to a £1.4 million miss in 2017/18:
One key cause for change was external pressure. In particular London bus drivers threatened to stop calling at certain bus stops given endemic parking problems. Over 100 signed a petition stating they “are fed up with the councils inability and inaction to enforce this area”.
The authority initially claimed they couldn’t find any suitable staff, though that position quickly changed with 10 additional staff hired earlier this year. Since then tackling chronic illegal parking has increased with a subsequent increase in revenue.
For many years before that, as budgets were continually missed, no additional staff were hired:
This failure to meet budgets has wide-reaching impacts. Greenwich Council are not allocating any parking income to improve streets and public spaces in contrast to many other London authorities. This is money being spent over the next three financial years:
Instead of using parking revenue the authority are using revenue funding to make up some of the shortfall – which impacts upon money for health, education and much else.
Researching London authorities shows Greenwich lagging way behind most. Southwark, to give one example, are allocating £19.5 million over the next three years:
Here’s Lambeth with £15 million income from parking allocated towards streets and public space improvement:
Greenwich Council have also outsourced parking enforcement at housing estates to a private company. The contract sees the authority receive no income from fines.
That contract was renewed in 2018.
Parking problems still proliferate and just today I again received a message from a reader who has reported pavement parking numerous times in the same location. No action appears to be being taken.