Kettering Council made more than £300,000 from car parking charges

Kettering Council car park charges
Kettering Council car park charges

Kettering Council made a profit of £326,000 from car parking revenue in 2016-17, new figures reveal.

The local authority, which we revealed charges the most of nearby shopping towns, was the only one in the north of the county to make any money from car parking according to data from the RAC Foundation.

The surplus was a year-on-year increase of £45,000, up from £279,000 in 2015-16.

Earlier this month, a long-awaited review of car parking charges led to a tariff freeze until 2021.

Corby Council broke even for the third year running, making neither a profit or a loss from car parking income.

Both East Northamptonshire Council (ENC) and Wellingborough Council, whose car parks are free to use, lost money running council-owned car parks.

ENC lost £48,000, almost £15,000 less than 2015-16 (£62,000).

Wellingborough Council lost £330,000, compared to £347,000 the previous year.

Only five councils in the entire country (Wealden, Northumberland, Slough, Ealing and North Yorkshire) lost more money than Wellingborough Council.

Speaking earlier this year, council leaders Steven North (ENC) and Martin Griffiths (Wellingborough) spoke of the importance of keeping parking free to them.

Cllr Griffiths said: “When we were elected in 2015, Conservative councillors canvassed widely across the borough and one of the loudest messages we heard was to make sure that council-operated car parks remain free.

“As a result, this was a promise that was made to local people, and it is clear that – across both the county and nationally – more and more councils are coming round to our way of thinking.”

East Northants Council leader Steven North said: “Many other councils across the county charge for parking but by offering free parking all year round we make it even easier for shoppers and visitors to enjoy all of our towns which are a mix of high street and independent shops.

“We feel this is an important investment in the local economy.”