Driv­ers pay for town hall cuts

Daily Star - - NEWS - ■ by ALEXAN­DER BROWN

DRIV­ERS have faced a 90% rise in park­ing charges in a decade.

They are now worth £920mil- lion to coun­cils – up from £490mil­lion – while spend­ing on pot­holes and road re­pairs has gone down by 53%.

Hugh Bladon from the As­so­ci­a­tion of Bri­tish Driv­ers said: “Shock­ing amounts of money have been taken from mo­torists. Things are at the point where it is al­most a crime to drive a car th­ese days.”

He went on: “The ne­glect of the roads is bad enough for peo­ple who use four wheels.

“For those on two wheels, cy­clists and mo­tor­cy­clists, it is se­ri­ously dan­ger­ous.”

The In­sti­tute for Fis­cal Stud­ies found coun­cils have been tar­get­ing mo­torists to make up for Gov­ern­ment fund­ing cut­backs. Town halls have also raised the cost of cre­ma­tions and buri­als while slash­ing spend­ing on sports pitches, leisure cen­tres and parks.

The IFS found coun­cils were now be­ing forced to fo­cus only on those ser­vices they are legally re­quired to pro­vide.

Spend­ing on home­less­ness went up by 72% over the same pe­riod.

Tom Har­ris of the IFS said: “It is clear that coun­cils have adapted to a decade of cuts by fo­cus­ing their spend­ing on their most needy res­i­dents and meet­ing their statu­tory du­ties.

“This has meant big cuts to a whole raft of other ser­vices and it may be dif­fi­cult to squeeze much more money from th­ese if coun­cils find their bud­gets un­der fur­ther pres­sure.”

EASY MONEY: Car park

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