Car parks raised more than £3.3million in East Devon last year

Exmouth's London Hotel car park. Photo: Paul Strange.

Exmouth's London Hotel car park. Photo: Paul Strange. - Credit: Archant

The figures, which shows each year for the last five years car parks have raised more than £3million for East Devon District Council, were obtained using a Freedom of Information request.

East Devon District Council earned more than £3.3million from car parks last year.

The figures, which show Exmouth to be the main contributor, were obtained via a Freedom of Information request to the council.

In the financial year 2017 to 2018 EDDC earned £3,364,461 from the car parks it maintains, the highest amount in the last five years.

The figures, which exclude VAT, show car parks have earned EDDC more than £3.1million each year for the last five years.

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Exmouth’s Imperial Road and London Hotel car parks are both in the top three most profitable car parks, along with Ham West car park in Sidmouth.

The Journal contacted EDDC to find out how the money raised by car parking is used, a council spokeswoman said: “It’s important to point out that the figures quoted here are income and not profit. Once all expenses are paid for the maintenance, management, staffing costs and other overheads for our car parks, business rates alone cost almost £500,000, the figure reduces to around £2million annually.

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“The balance contributes to the council’s general revenue fund which pays for a range of public services for East Devon residents including waste and recycling, grounds maintenance, public toilets, environmental health services and planning.

“We see no evidence that fair and proportionate car parking charges adversely affect local businesses.”

According to the council if parking was free in East Devon council tax for an average band D property in the area would increase by ‘more than 40%’.

Exmouth Chamber of Commerce chairman Ian MacQueen acknowledges car parking is a ‘contentious’ issue for the council and there are ‘a huge number of competing imperatives within their annual budget’, he said: “It is worth pointing out unless you couple low cost parking with time restrictions you will get people parking all day and clogging up the whole system which is totally counter productive to business.

“In order to assess the current car parking charges in terms of their level of reasonableness you would need to do some due diligence on the whole EDDC budget as well as making comparisons with other Councils across the South West in particular.”

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