PARKING CHARGE PLAN FOR GODIVA
IT IS AMONG SEVERAL MONEY-MAKING PROPOSALS PUT FORWARD BY COUNCIL
PEOPLE could be charged to park at the annual Godiva Festival next year as part of a Coventry City Council plan to cope with £10million budget gap.
The city council has set out a number of proposals which could form part of its budget in 2019/20.
A pre-budget report was considered by the council’s cabinet last Tuesday and a number of money-making initiatives are now the subject of consultation in a bid to reduce the budget gap from £10m to £0.6m.
The measures under consideration come on top of a proposed council tax increase of 2.9 per cent.
They include having to pay to park at the city’s traditionally free Godiva Festival in a move which could rake in £150,000 over the next three years. More cash could also be raised from increasing sponsorship and naming rights of the popular event.
Extra merchandise from the festival is also suggested as a way to raise an extra £75,000 over the next three years. A statement on Coventry City Council’s website said: “Proposals listed in the report would reduce the current budget gap for 2019/20 from £10m to £0.6m, so we are on target for securing a balanced budget.
“Further work will be undertaken to address the 2019/20 budget gap outlined in the report between now and the final Budget Report in February.
“The problem that the Council is facing in 2020/21 is that the projected financial gap will rise to £17m mainly because of uncertainty around the Local Government finance environment, greater external pressures in some of its demand led services, and continued inflationary pressures. This includes pressures that the Council continues to face from supporting families and individuals in temporary and supported accommodation with additional costs of £2.9m being funded in 2018/19.”
There are also a number of proposals in the pre-budget report relating to other parking and motoring offences.
One is the introduction of evening parking patrols at peak times.
This would see traffic wardens operating at night to penalise motorists who are parking where they shouldn’t or have overstayed their allotted time.
Motorists who park on zigzag lines outside schools and other restructured areas where they shouldn’t - such as taxi ranks and on red lines - could also find themselves penalised by the council.
In order to police the proposals, the council is considering the prospect of buying an Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) car to capture offences.
Another potential revenue stream being considered is installing additional cameras to enforce restrictions in existing bus lanes.
All of the proposals will now fall under a public consultation which will seek residents’ views on the plans.
As part of the report considered by the cabinet, the council has estimated how much money could be made by some of the proposals.
Charging people to park at the Godiva Festival could bring in £50,000 each year over the next three years, though the report indicates some of that could come through increased sponsorship and/or a naming rights deal.
The council also believes the annual free festival could raise an additional £25,000 yearly through merchandising opportunities.
As far as operating an ANPR vehicle goes it is estimated that could generate additional revenues of £25,000 in 2019/20 but bring in £40,000 a year thereafter as part of a three-year forecast.
With evening parking patrols at peak times it has been estimated that could raise £25,000 next year and £50,000 a year in 2020/21 and 2021/22.
Bus lane enforcement has been identified as a potential big earner, with it estimated to bring in £60,000 next year and £120,000 a year for the two years after that.
The proposals are just some of many detailed in a lengthy appendix to the report.
Others include the expansion of pest control services and increasing its work with neighbouring authorities charging accordingly.
The report says this is something that is being done already but it estimates further commercialisation could bring in an additional £30,000 a year over the next three years.
Another area identified to bring in extra funding is the growth of the council’s commercial waste service.