Sunderland car parks ‘worst of both worlds’
Wearside Liberal Democrats have slammed Sunderland City Council for wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money by failing to run car parks in the city efficiently.
RAC Foundation figures have revealed that Sunderland Council made a £469,000 loss running city car parks in the past year - meaning that council taxpayers are having to subsidise the running of council car parks.
The authority has now lost money on car parking services for the past 5 years.
In contrast other local authorities in the North East made a profit from their car parks.
Sunderland Lib Dems are urging the council to get a grip on the situation and take action to stop money being wasted on subsidising car parks which could be spent on other vital services.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat campaigner for Millfield and Thornholme Ward Niall Hodson said:
“Sunderland Council claims that it doesn’t have enough money for basic services like repairing potholes or emptying the bins regularly – but once again their incompetence has meant that half a million pounds of council tax payers money has been wasted on subsiding car parks instead of being spent on services people want and need.
“Labour councillors running our council need to get a grip on the situation as a matter of priority. Their lack of joined up thinking on this issue means car parking in Sunderland is the worst of both worlds for residents and businesses in the city – not only is it expensive to park in Sunderland, residents are paying for the service through their Council Tax too.
“I would urge ruling councillors to speak with neighbouring councils to see how they all manage to run car parking services without a taxpayer subsidy and at the same time offer more free parking for shoppers.
“Figures show that free evening parking is not only profitable for Newcastle Council, but that it increases footfall and the prosperity of the city centre by keeping the local economy alive after 5.”
RAC Foundation statistics revealed that Sunderland Council made a £496,000 loss in 2014/15; £383,000 in 2013/14; £306,000 in 2012/13, £362,000 in 2011/12; and £394,000 in 2010/11. In the past year Newcastle City Council made more than £6.6million profit from parking services.