Councils are making a profit of £667 million a year from parking. That is unacceptable, so this Government are bringing forward a series of measures to make local parking fairer for residents and shoppers. This includes curtailing the use of CCTV spy cameras, introducing grace periods, and giving local residents and firms new rights to demand a review of yellow lines and parking charges in their area.
Over-zealous parking enforcement by these methods, and in particular by mobile cameras in Enfield’s Hertford road, is one of the most damaging practices to shops and shopkeepers, and the more so because Labour-controlled Enfield council is reducing the number of parking spaces. What advice does my right hon. Friend have for this council to put shoppers and high streets first?
On my visit to my hon. Friend’s constituency, he was kind enough to show me Hertford road, which does not have a very easy trading environment. We have placed an obligation on local authorities to look after local businesses, and we know that that plays an enormously important part in people’s management of their shops. I would simply urge Enfield council to get together with local traders to ensure that people do not have to drive further and further from Enfield to do their shopping.
Will the Secretary of State join me and many Congleton residents in objecting to proposals to introduce parking charges at Congleton War Memorial hospital for the first time? That plan is likely to increase, rather than decrease, local parking congestion, and rather than benefiting patients and their families it will in all likelihood benefit the car park charging company through aggressive fines.
I have a War Memorial hospital in my own constituency. My hon. Friend the Member for Harlow (Robert Halfon) has been vocal in pressing local health authorities on this practice, which particularly affects people who are visiting patients who are in hospital for a long stay. It does not seem to be the most sensible way of raising funds.