Scrap councillors’ free parking if you want to charge people to park outside homes, Barking Tory tells council

PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 November 2018

London Assembly member Andrew Boff. Picture: TOM SIMPSON/GLA

London Assembly member Andrew Boff. Picture: TOM SIMPSON/GLA

© Greater London Authority

The council should scrap free parking permits for councillors before asking drivers to pay more.

The council is introducing more controlled parking zones, meaning residents have to pay to park outside their own homes. Picture: LBBDThe council is introducing more controlled parking zones, meaning residents have to pay to park outside their own homes. Picture: LBBD

That’s the message from Barking Conservatives vice chairman, Andrew Boff, whose party has said that the number of councillor permits has more than quadrupled since last year in spite of parking costs doubling for some residents in July.

Mr Boff said: “It’s easy for Labour councillors to vote to make people pay more when they have free parking themselves. If they had any shame, they would scrap these permits before they ask residents to pay more.”

And on plans to charge people to park outside their homes, he said: “Will any of those councillors be declaring an interest when they vote for these schemes?”

A freedom of information request (FOI) submitted by Barking Conservatives revealed that 40 parking permits were issued this year allowing councillors to park for free in controlled parking zones in the borough.

This was up from eight last year and 13 issued in 2016, according to the FOI request.

However, a council spokesman said the permits helped members visit residents and attend advice surgeries carrying out their jobs as elected representatives.

“The figures provided in response to the FOI request do not reflect the changes in the number of members issued with new permits, where there has been little change in the last four years.

“Permits are issued when members are first elected. The figures for intervening years reflect changes in circumstances where existing permits have been reissued.”

He explained that this was why 13 and eight were issued in 2016 and 2017.

“Parking fees in the borough have not doubled, rather there have been increases as with the usual annual review of fees and charges,” the spokesman added.

In an online poll carried out by the Post asking readers whether the council should charge people to park outside their homes, 70 per cent said no.

The council is consulting households on extending two controlled parking zones.

Zones in Curzon Crescent and Stanley Avenue, Blake Avenue and Eastbury Avenue were due to come into force this month.

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