£70,000 loss for council car parks

Babergh District Council posted a loss of more than £70,000 for its car parks in Sudbury and Hadleigh this year, the Free Press can reveal.

Figures released to us show the authority brought in a total income of £175,380 from the towns over the last 12 months. It collected nearly half this amount from fines, which amounted to £85,000, but was well short of achieving the £318,500 originally budgeted for.

The council also spent just short of £248,000 managing the car parks, leaving them with a loss of £72,000.

The information has cast doubt on the plans of a Sudbury group which is working on proposals to take over the running of the car parks.

Tony Platt, a member of the group, said he was aware of the problems.

“It doesn’t affect what we are doing as we want to run the car parks in a different, more efficient way, without so many overheads,” he said.

“We want to change the approach so we are not dependant on fines and make it easier for people to park in Sudbury and Hadleigh.”

It is not the first time the council has experienced losses on the car parks, which saw long-stay charges introduced in October 2010.

During the first year, it was expected £211,000 would be generated from the charges, but only £91,000 was brought in and £153,700 splashed out maintenance and employing wardens to police the scheme.

For the full story see this week’s Free Press.