by Leia Reid
A freedom of information request, submitted by the Welsh Conservatives, has revealed Welsh councils banked a £10,065,347 surplus; from parking charges and fines across 2017 and 2018.
This sparked criticism about how authorities manage parking. In total, local authorities made a net profit of £1,402,927.
Cardiff declared returns of £3.9m and Swansea £2.7m, both up from the previous financial year. Likewise, Wrexham and Caerphilly increased their surplus by 245% and 436% respectively.
Whereas, Bridgend, Newport, Flintshire and Pembrokeshire reported deficits, costing taxpayers £1,525,605. These councils are spending more money implementing their policies than they are creating.
This has raised concerns over Non-Domestic Rates (NDR). Money local authorities have to pay into a centralised Welsh fund for their car parks. But, it’s reallocated where needed and how much is paid in by one authority isn’t always returned back.
Seven councils received less NDR revenue than they contributed for half of the 16 financial years between 2000, 2001 and 2015, 2016. Only 10 of 22 local authorities in wales received back as much as they paid in.
Welsh Conservative and Shadow Local Government Secretary Mark Isherwood AM, said: “Although it is right money raised this way is reinvested in public services, the burden of revenue raising should not be placed on drivers who already have to pay considerable and recurring costs towards something that is a necessity, not a luxury.
“The story here is that the Welsh Labour Government’s local authority settlements are starting to bite, forcing councils to squeeze more and more money from the workers and shoppers that are powering local economies.”