UPDATE: Council disputes profiteering from parking claim

JPCT-S11479001a-22-11-11 Swan Walk car park -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-S11479001a-22-11-11 Swan Walk car park -photo by steve cobb

Horsham District Council has disputed figures published by the RAC foundation and says it is not profiteering from parking.

According to the report HDC recorded the second highest parking profit in West Sussex for 2011/12, bringing in £1.272m.

National figures have sparked a wave of debate after a high court judge declared that Barnet Council had acted illegally by using parking charges to raise general revenue. Barnet’s case related to parking permits.

A spokesperson for HDC said: “Contrary to the figures published by the RAC, Horsham District Council does not make a profit from parking enforcement on the streets of the Horsham district. The net cost of operating on-street parking enforcement was £128,000 last year, so no profit was made from civil enforcement officers (traffic wardens) operating on the streets of the district.

“Unlike many local authorities however, the council owns and operates the majority of the off-street car parks in Horsham town centre and this provides a net revenue of around £1.4 million per year.

“The law prohibits councils from making a profit from on-street parking and residents’ parking zones, but this does not apply to off-street car parks as these are assets that the Council owns and maintains.

“Parking charges in Horsham are favourable compared to other similar areas and the town centre remains vibrant, supported by the council’s on-going investment in improvements and success in recruiting major new retailers to the town.”