Wirral Council Parking Account, 2018-19

Response to this request is delayed. By law, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council should normally have responded promptly and by (details)

Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,

In accordance with the Local Government Transparency Code 2015, Part 2.2/46, please can Wirral Council provide the public with a breakdown of the parking account for 2018-19.
Please can Wirral Council provide the following details:

1) The opening balance of the parking reserve for 2018
2) Total income from on-street parking provision, breaking down incomes from: Pay & Display/Meters, Residents' & Visitors' Permits, Business Permits, PCN Income, other non-PCN Income.
3) Total expenditure incurred providing on-street parking provision, breaking down expenditures for: employee related costs, premises, transport related costs, equipment maintenance/renewal, supplies & services, support services, Traffic Penalties Tribunal, Capital Charges, non-recovery of debt for penalties.
4) Total income from off-street parking provision, breaking down incomes from: Pay & Display/Meters, Residents' & Visitors' Permits, PCN Income, any other Income.
5) Total expenditure incurred providing off-street parking provision, breaking down expenditures for: employee related costs, premises, transport related costs, equipment maintenance/renewal, supplies & services, support services, Traffic Penalties Tribunal, Capital Charges, non-recovery of debt for penalties.
6) The figure for surplus or deficit.
7) If the parking account has a surplus, the planned use for surplus generated from on-street parking, with reference to: the purposes of environmental improvement in the local authority's area improving or maintaining the appearance or amenity of – (i) a road or land in the vicinity of a road (ii) improving or maintaining the appearance or amenity of open land or water to which the general public have access; meeting the costs incurred in the provision or operation of or facilities for public passenger transport services; the purposes of a road or highway improvement in the local authority's area; meeting the cost of provision and maintenance of off-street parking provision.
8) If the parking account has a surplus, the planned use for surplus generated from off-street parking provision.

Many thanks for your help.

Yours faithfully,

NJT Lauro

ScarletPimpernel left an annotation ()

Hi,

This details what's published by Wirral Council https://data.gov.uk/dataset/0b591ef4-762... .

You might want to clarify in the text of your request if by 2018, whether you mean 2017-18 or 2018-19 to prevent confusion by Wirral Council.

However Wirral Council should have published info for the 2018-19 FY by the start of May 2019. I'm not sure why it isn't included in the information I linked to above unless they either haven't published it or published it elsewhere.

NJT Lauro left an annotation ()

I checked out the data sets beforehand and couldn't find a balance sheet for 2018 - 2019 either! Hopefully this will be clear to the Information Officer who deals with my request.

Dalton, Chelsea, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Dear NJT Lauro,

 

Thank you for your recent FOI submitted under the Freedom of Information
Act 2000. Please see attached. This will answer questions 2 to 6.

 

In addition to the parking account data that answers questions 2 to 6,
below is the response to questions 1, 7 and 8:-

 

1)            The opening balance of the parking reserve for 2018

 

We do not have a balance on the parking reserve as all monies collected
from car parking across the borough are used to cover the costs of running
a car parking service or reinvested into highway improvements in the local
authority's area each year.

 

7)            If the parking account has a surplus, the planned use for
surplus generated from on-street parking, with reference to: the purposes
of environmental improvement in the local authority's area improving or
maintaining the appearance or amenity of – (i) a road or land in the
vicinity of a road (ii) improving or maintaining the appearance or amenity
of open land or water to which the general public have access; meeting the
costs incurred in the provision or operation of or facilities for public
passenger transport services; the purposes of a road or highway
improvement in the local authority's area; meeting the cost of provision
and maintenance of off-street parking provision.

 

Any surplus made on the parking account is invested in highway
improvements in the local authority's area each year.

 

8)            If the parking account has a surplus, the planned use for
surplus generated from off-street parking provision.

 

As the Council invest any surplus income from parking both on and
off-street back into highway improvements in the local authority area the
answer is therefore the same as that to question 7

 

 

I trust this satisfies your request in full.

 

You have the right under Section 17 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
to ask for an internal review if you are dissatisfied with the information
provided to you. Please direct any request for an internal review to
[1][Wirral Borough Council request email] and your request will be allocated for
review.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Chelsea Dalton

Information Management Officer

Business Management - ICT

Treasury Building

Argyle Street

Birkenhead

Wirral

CH41 1AH

Tel: 0151 666 5201

[2][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

PLEASE FORWARD ALL FOI RESPONSES TO [3][Wirral Borough Council request email]

 

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References

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1. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
2. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]
3. mailto:[Wirral Borough Council request email]

Dear Dalton, Chelsea,

Thank you for your reply which unfortunately, I feel, does not address my questions in the way I had hoped. It appears this reply must trigger an internal review which I hope does not reflect negatively on your part. My reasons for rejecting your reply are as follows:

First of all, we know Wirral Council had a surplus figure of £1,158,469 at the end of the financial year 2017-18, the public are never given a projected breakdown of where this surplus goes and how it will be split, according to permitted use.

We know Wirral Council state (only when asked) they reinvest any surplus from on-street and off-street parking into "highway improvements" but we are never presented with any breakdown of figures to differentiate how income from on-street and off-street parking has been spent in relation to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. This is especially important, because the law is clear on how surplus income from on-street parking can be spent under Section 55 of the above Act.

However, there is a widely held belief/interpretation of the Act, that surplus income from off-street parking can be spent on any traffic related budgetary purpose. This relates directly to the historical Parking Account statements I have in my posession showing differentiation between the two income streams.

In the interests of transparency, I am simply requesting that Wirral Council fulfil all obligations under section 46 of the Local Goverment Transparency Code 2015:

Parking account
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 (38, 39). 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 (38, 40).

References to notes:
38 A parking account kept under section 55 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as modified by Regulation 25 of the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions (England) General Regulations 2007.
39 Local authorities should also have regard to both statutory guidance, The Secretary of State’s Statutory Guidance to Local Authorities on the Civil Enforcement of Parking Contraventions, http://assets.dft.gov.uk/publications/tm...,
and non-statutory operational guidance, Operational Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/sy...
40 Section 55 (as amended) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 sets out how local authorities should use a surplus on their parking account. Local authorities should breakdown how they have spent a surplus on their parking account within the categories set out in section 55.

I have researched examples of other councils who present this sort of detailed information as a matter of course and I am confused as to why Wirral Council have never offered similarly detailed information other than the briefest of spreadsheets. At the time I submitted this request I could not find any breakdown of the council's parking account for April 2018-19.

I am also concerned about the effectiveness of the councils auditors as they do not appear to have highlighted the lack of information available based on the recommendations of the Local Government Transparency Code 2015.

For example, Milton Keynes Council produce a clear, one page document pertaining to their Parking Account surplus, including a key showing references of compliance to Section 55 of the RTRA 1984. This is what I am asking Wirral Council to do and I do not believe what I am asking is unreasonable or beyond the capabilities of a Local Authority. Clearly, central government have indicated the parameters within which Local Authorities should be working to deliver transparent information regarding parking income surplus and I am asking nothing more than what is expected.

I am more than happy to supply the example from Milton Keynes Council as a template Wirral Council could work from in order to move forward on this issue. I also appreciate that the council have many other pressing issues and in doing so, am not expecting its staff to treat my request with any more urgency than anybody elses.

If Wirral Council can act on this in 2019 to deliver the detail the public are expected to be presented with, then this sort of positive action will go some way to restoring the trust Wirral Council have lost in recent years between itself and the public it serves.

Thank you for your further assistance and cooperation.

Yours sincerely,

NJT Lauro

NJT Lauro left an annotation ()

There appears to be an attachment missing which I suspect could be the parking account figures for 2018-19.

InfoMgr, FinDMT, Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council

Good afternoon NJT Lauro,

Thank you for your further correspondence, I apologise that you do not feel our response to you was sufficient. we have treated this as a request for internal review as you have expressed dissatisfaction of the handling of your request with the responses received from the Information Management team.

The Council will aim to respond to this within 20 working days from the receipt of your request.

If you then remain dissatisfied you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner at https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

Yours sincerely,

Chelsea Dalton
Information Management Officer
Business Management - ICT
Treasury Building
Argyle Street
Birkenhead
Wirral
CH41 1AH
Tel: 0151 666 5201
[Wirral Borough Council request email]

PLEASE FORWARD ALL FOI RESPONSES TO [Wirral Borough Council request email]

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