TENDRING Council raked in hundreds of thousands of pounds of profit from parking fines and charges in the last year, government figures have revealed.

Figures published by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities reveal the authority received £226,000 in profit from parking charges, as well as fines, in the last financial year.

The data relates to fines and charges issued at car parks managed by Tendring Council between April last year and March this year.

It does not include on-street parking fines, which are issued by the North Essex Parking Partnership.

%image('12703160', type="article-full", alt="Parking - the figures relate to Tendring Council-run car parks")

Mick Barry, the councillor responsible for parking services, said income from parking charges helped support the overall financial position of the council.

“Income from our car parks, like all other income across the council, helps to cover the costs of running the service, and support upgrades and maintenance of facilities – helping to reduce the cost of services and therefore the cost on council tax payers,” he said.

“We strive to set a balance between generating some income from parking, against setting reasonable prices for our car parks and providing related facilities such as electric vehicle charging and other environmental and community functions which help to encourage visitors to our district and support the tourist economy – this is why we are a car-friendly district, especially because of our rural nature.

“Additionally, our residents’ parking permit scheme, which provides free parking to Tendring households for ten months of the year after 11am, reduces the burden of car parking on residents and supports them to use local businesses too.

“Charges, and when necessary, penalty notices, are used to ensure motorists park responsibly and do not cause a nuisance to local residents and businesses.

“We of course work with the North Essex Parking Partnership, which manages on-street parking in our district.”

The division of responsibility between the local authority and the North Essex Parking Partnership means profits recorded by Tendring Council are significantly lower than neighbouring councils.

Ipswich Council, for example, reported profits of more than £1.5million, while Southend Council raked in profits of more than £6.4million.