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Bonkers Blog March 2019

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20 March (Part 2) - Fines, taxes and charges. In Bexley they are all skyrocketing

Now that notices are being wrapped around lamp posts and emails are going out to residents the complaints are coming in. Bexley Council is not just putting up the price of Residents’ Parking Permits by 25%, for second cars the increase is 50%.

Bexley’s email claims to offer an explanation but it does not…


Dear Controlled Parking Zone Permit Holder,
Controlled Parking Zone Parking Permits – Proposed Changes and Price Increase
We are writing to advise you that at the Budget Council meeting held on 6th March 2019 it was decided that the price of Controlled Parking Zone Parking Permits should be increased and an “Additional Vehicle Supplement” charge be introduced for the second and subsequent permits applied for by a household or business.
The full details of the proposed increases are available on the Council’s Public Notices Page for 13 March 2019  using the following link:
http://www.bexley.gov.uk/sites/bexley-cms/files/2019-03/Public-Notices-13-March-2019-Part-Four.pdf
Should you require a copy of the tables that appear on the website then please let me know and I will arrange for a copy to be sent to you.
The formal advertising of the proposed traffic management order to make this change is currently taking place. Copies of the proposed Order, the corresponding Parent Order (and any Orders that have amended that Order), the Council’s statement of reasons for proposing to make the Order, can be inspected during normal office hours on Mondays to Fridays inclusive, at the Contact Centre, 2 Watling Street, Bexleyheath, Kent DA6 7AT.
If you have any comments about the proposals, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Should you wish to formally object to the proposed traffic management order then this must be in writing or by email (bruce.woodhams@bexley.gov.uk) and must be received by the 3 April 2019. Please note that for an objection to be valid a full name and postal address must be included, and that all comments may be made available for public inspection.
Yours sincerely
Bruce Woodhams
Traffic and Road Safety Services


If you click on the link that Mr. Woodhams provides you will find nothing about the “Additional Vehicle Supplement”. The truth was buried deeply in January’s Cabinet papers and reproduced below. From next month residents will have to pay £150 to park a second or subsequent car instead of the £100 they pay now, £175 if you live close to a town centre.

Parking rip off

I doubt Bexley Council will choose to justify the increase, when they tried to justify the increase from £35 to £100 eight years ago Councillor Craske did what he always did back then. Among the inventions was that a Councillor had consulted his ward residents and found that residents were happy with their CPZ and the charges. A Council official admitted in a Freedom of Information request that there had been no consultation.

Councillor Craske claimed that the administrative costs associated with every parking permit was £240 a year. A breakdown of costs showed that could only be possible if all the white lines were repainted annually at a cost of £6 a foot. Since then paper permits have been replaced by digital systems, thereby lowering the admin. costs.

The new charges of up to £225 for a Parking Permit do not compare well with other boroughs.

Bromley charges either £40 or £80 a year dependent on where one lives. Greenwich charges different rates dependent on how long the restriction applies. £57 in Abbey Wood where two hour restrictions apply and up to £100 in Blackheath where the restriction is all day. At that rate most Bexley residents would be on £57 a year not Bexley’s extortionate £125. (Link to Greewich’s price list.)

Richmond is another Council that charges different rates for short or long restrictions but they go further, the charges are linked to a car’s CO2 emissions. If you pay no Road Tax you don’t pay to park either. Maybe there is some merit to having a Lib Dem Council after all.

If you own a gas guzzler in Richmond you will pay either £48·50 a year, £82·50 or £109 dependent on the length of the local restriction.

Second car owners get clobbered in town centres but not as much as in Bexley and Richmond is less than half the price for residential streets with two hour restrictions. Nowhere in Outer London is as punitive as Bexley. In Newham residents have a choice of a free permit or 30 free visitors permits annually.

No one should ever fall for Bexley Conservatives’ line that they run a low tax Council, maybe the government grant system does treat them harshly but that doesn’t change the facts. Bexley charges more than most Councils for nearly everything.

Note: Bexley Council has corrected its link and the full scale of their increases may be found at http://www.bexley.gov.uk/sites/bexley-cms/files/2019-03/Public-Notices-13-March-2019-Part-Two.pdf.

 

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