|Parking Charge Wars in Ealing|
Opposition promises to reduce charges attacked
With the local elections just days away the cost of parking in the borough has become a point of contention between the main parties.
The Conservatives say it's too high and promise to make cuts but both the Lib Dems and Labour argue it can't be done.
The Tories say latest changes to Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) charges (which have gone up from £2.50 to £4.50 in four years) are just wrong and now tip the balance in favour of commuters - not residents.
Phil Taylor, Conservative spokesman for Transport and Environment says: “Labour’s Bassam Mahfouz has misjudged this badly. He has got his CPZ pricing wrong. Charging residents’ own visitors, most often their own family, more than twice as much as commuters to park in a CPZ is just plain wrong. The Council’s first priority should be accommodating the needs of residents over commuters.
''The Conservatives will reduce the £4.50 visitors’ voucher to £2.50 as soon as we can after 22nd May. This change will cost very little as sales of these vouchers have slumped since their price went through the roof. We will sell many more cheaper vouchers and the cost of this change will be minimal.''
However the Lib Dems have slammed the Tories election pledge to reduce parking costs.
Lib Dem leader, Councillor Gary Malcolm, said he was told itMay 20, 2014ves would add to the Council bills, which would feed onto the Council Tax bills residents would pay." He said it was a "back of a fag packet" policy which had not been properly costed.
Meanwhile Labour has launched its own attack on the Conservatives proposals claiming they have found a massive 'black hole' in their finance plans.
They say there is no new money projected for business rates and this combined with their council tax freeze promise means that the Tories face a £101m budget hole over the next four years.
Labour council leader Cllr Julian Bell said: “This huge miscalculation shows that the Tories have absolutely no clue about the Borough's finances and cannot be trusted to run the council. Now this huge financial hole has appeared in their plans they will either have to rip up their manifesto or impose huge cuts to services to balance their budget.''
Conservative Spokesman for Finance, Councillor Mark Reen responded: “We will take no lectures from the Labour party about financial mismanagement from a party that spent £2.5M on a car park in Southall that nobody uses.
''There is no black hole in the Conservative budget. It has been fully costed by the Council’s senior Finance Officers.''
The local council and european elections will be held on May 22nd.
May 20, 2014