Request for Reports, Wirral Council Parking Account

NJT Lauro made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

I hope this request can be fulfilled and is not too difficult to source, I appreciate the efforts of Council Officers who no doubt have busy workloads.

Continuing my research on trying to understand how local authority parking enforcement works, I am requesting from Wirral Council, some aspects of reporting as mentioned in the Traffic Management Act 2004\The Secretary of State's Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions:

(Extracts)

12.8 Reporting is an important part of accountability. The transparency given by regular and consistent reporting should help the public understand and accept civil parking enforcement.
12.10 The Government believes that in principle all data held and managed by local authorities should be made available to local people unless there are specific sensitivities to doing so (e.g. protecting vulnerable people). The Government also expects local authorities to be transparent about how they spend taxpayers’ money and the services they deliver. It is a legal requirement for local authorities to comply with Part 2 of the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 which sets out the minimum data that local authorities should be publishing.

(From the Local Government Transparency Code 2015…)
46. Local authorities must publish on their website, or place a link on their website to this data if published elsewhere:
• a breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority’s parking account. The breakdown of income must include details of revenue collected from on-street parking, off-street parking and Penalty Charge Notices, and
• a breakdown of how the authority has spent a surplus on its parking account

12.11 Among other key information of interest to local people, local authorities must publish on an annual basis, a breakdown of income and expenditure on the authority’s parking account, how the authority has spent any surplus on its parking account and the number of marked out controlled on and off-street parking spaces within their area, or an estimate of the number of spaces where controlled parking space is not marked out in individual parking bays or spaces.
12.12 The income and expenditure of local authorities in connection with their on- street charging and their on-street and off-street enforcement activities are governed by Section 55 (as amended) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This means that all their income and expenditure as enforcement authorities (i.e. related to the issue of and income from penalty charge notices) in respect of off-street parking places is covered by section 55.

I have tried to perform as much research as possible myself and have found the links to where Wirral Council publishes data on its parking account. The data sheets are simple outgoings/income statements and it is easy to work out if the parking account is making a loss or a surplus. From the information available, I have surmised that the parking account has been making a surplus for the following periods:

2013-14: £1,047,607
2014-15: £1,181,450
2015-16: £1,184,310
2016-17: £1,079,289

When I look at the figures presented on the spreadsheets, I don’t see the surplus amounts being carried forward to the next year. There doesn’t seem to be an opening balance, so I am left wondering where the surplus money is being recorded.

I downloaded the Council’s Budget Book & Financial Information 2017/18 and could not need see any obvious record of where the parking account surplus was identified (I’m not accountant so please excuse my lack of understanding).

I also downloaded the Statement Of Accounts 2017/18 but could not find any references to surplus monies from the parking account.

I am not suggesting or trying to imply that the Council have been acting dishonestly or have deliberately tried to conceal such information and it is likely I have simply not been able to find where it is published. So, please could you direct me to, or provide documentation with a breakdown of how Wirral Council have spent the surplus on its parking account for the periods between 2013 and 2017.

Many thanks for your help.

Yours faithfully,

NJT Lauro

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear NJT Lauro

 

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information enquiry regarding surplus
monies from parking accounts. 

 

We can advise that any parking surplus is spent on ongoing highway
maintenance (carriageway and footway works, bridges, street lighting
etc.)  Please see expenditure below.

 

 

Year                       Surplus parking income Highway Maintenance
Expenditure

2013-14:               £1,047,607                           £6,750,414.57

2014-15:               £1,181,450                           £7,467,331.20

2015-16:               £1,184,310                           £7,060,018.99

2016-17:               £1,079,289                           £7,106,376.07

 

 

We hope this clarifies matters for you.

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Lynette Paterson

Principal Information Management Officer

Business Management - Digital

 

Treasury Building

Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

 

[1]Tel: 0151 691 8201

[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

 

[3]LGC Awards15_Winner_MIP

 

 

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Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Many thanks for this information.

To clarify further, is there any published budget information available to the public showing the movement of surplus amounts into the Highways Maintenance budget which specifically identifies the parking account surplus being imported as income for that budget? I ask becuase in future years, it would be helpful for the public to see on published accounts where the surplus (if there is any) is being allocated. For instance, a document such as this from Milton Keynes Council would help Wirral Council in achieving further transparency:

http://milton-keynes.cmis.uk.com/milton-...

As I have stated before, I assume this information may be available but I have not been able to find it. I am just a little bit anxious that my request may be seen as an attempt to somehow accuse WBC of deliberately witholding information. I understand every Council will act differently when choosing what to publish (without malice) and the sort of detail Milton Keynes Council have chosen to publish may not be the norm across many councils. Therefore, if this level of detail is not finding its way into public reporting, may I suggest that such detailed information would be very helpful in the future, enabling the public to understand more about why parking charges exist and how parking account surplus can (legally) make a useful contribution to Highways Maintenance, if not deliberately pursued as a source of income.

Yours sincerely,

NJT Lauro

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear NJT Lauro

Further to your recent email seeking clarification of the Council's response to your enquiry, we can confirm that Wirral Council does not publish information showing movement of surplus parking income into other highway budgets.

Yours sincerely

Lynette Paterson
Principal Information Management Officer
Business Management

Treasury Building
Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH

Tel: 0151 691 8201
[Wirral Borough Council request email]

This information supplied to you is copyrighted and continues to be protected by the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including any non commercial research you are doing and for the purposes of news reporting. Any other reuse, for example commercial publication, would require our specific permission, may involve licensing and the application of a charge

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the system manager.

Dear InfoMgr, FinDMT,

Many thanks again for your help.

Yours sincerely,

NJT Lauro