Local Councils Risk Illegally Targeting Motorists
Online Tool Risks Placing Councils On Wrong Side Of Law
Local councils risk illegally targeting motorists as a source of income, The Telegraph has reported. How? Via an online calculator called “You Choose” that encourages voters to suggest how the authorities can raise enough money – or save enough money – to fill any deficit. This tool is available for councils throughout the country including: Cheshire West and Chester, Croydon, Hertfordshire, Middlesbrough, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Southampton, Staffordshire Moorlands, and Welwyn Hatfield, etc. Crucially, voters are told that: “in order to raise more income the council could increase charges, expand controlled parking zones, increase the number of on-street pay and display bays and extend parking controls and enforcement activity”. Voters can then effectively approve this suggestion and see how much money it would raise. A council might then use this feedback as a mandate to boost its income. However, the Telegraph has reported that it is “against the law to deliberately make money from the motorist” in this context. Parking controls, after all, are only supposed to keep traffic moving, improve safety for pedestrians and motorists and ensure people can park outside their homes/near to shops.
Eric Pickles Discusses You Choose Online Tool
The Telegraph reported that Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, wants the tool removed and said: “This threatens to undermine public trust in local government” and “I believe such stealthy activity reinforces the need for a clampdown on dodgy parking practices by overzealous council officers. This Government will stand up for hard-working families and local shops against town hall parking bullies.”
Motoring Experts Discuss You Choose Tool
The You Choose tool seems to be viewed with suspicion by motoring experts. As such Stephen Glaister, Director of the RAC Foundation, asked whether this: “is this the smoking gun which damns some councils?” He added: “it is extraordinary that local authorities have been engaging with residents and suggesting that hiking parking charges is a valid way of balancing the budget. The law says it isn’t.” Furthermore Edmund King, President of the AA, said that: “it proves what we have been saying that too many local authorities have been using parking to generate revenue rather than keep traffic flowing.” Finally parking campaigner Barrie Segal argued that this tool: ''shows the astonishing level of cynicism that councils have reached in milking the motorist.'' A Local Government Association spokesperson, however, stressed that the tool is only: “designed to allow the public to see in simple terms some of the difficult decisions councils are having to make”.