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Medway Council make £523,000 from dishing out parking permits

Medway Council made more than half a million pounds from selling parking permits in one year alone – but residents still struggle to park.

The figure was unearthed by Malcolm Gough, who became frustrated with not being able to leave his car near his home in Gillingham.

He believes instead of parking restrictions being there to help motorists, they are now Medway Council’s “licence to print money”.

Fox Street, Gillingham
Fox Street, Gillingham

The council does not put a cap on the number of permits sold to each household, so any household can buy as many permits as they like.

Mr Gough says this means the council could sell 3,000 permits for a zone with only 500 spaces.

Staff at schools and colleges are also able to buy discounted permits – for example, Burnt Oak Primary School, near to Mr Gough’s home, had 79 permits in 2015.

The permits cost about £30 but a resident may pay for one and not be able to park.

The revenue the council earned from selling parking permits for the 2015-16 financial year was £523,328.05.

Mr Gough has asked for records to show how many permits have been sold compared with how many spaces there are, but Medway Council does not keep a record of how many available spaces there are in different zones.

Malcolm Gough, of Fox Street, Gillingham
Malcolm Gough, of Fox Street, Gillingham

The 47-year-old, who has lived in Fox Street for 36 years, said: “Parking permits were implemented to help residents and businesses who live near town centres or hospitals have half a chance of being able to park close to where they live or work. This is not the case now. Selling a parking permit is a licence to print money for Medway Council.

“If you come home after 6.30pm, it is impossible to find a parking space in our street. And it is the same for many people.”

Mr Gough has gathered data under the Freedom of Information Act and been working with Cllr Andy Stamp.

He added: “Cllr Stamp and I have put forward positive suggestions to council officers for improving the existing controlled parking scheme, encouraging the council to consider selling parking permits responsibly, but unfortunately the council do not seem willing to consider these – they only seem interested in expanding controlled parking zones to increase revenue.”

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