Parking Places (Variation of Charges) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:57 am on 3rd February 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Slaughter Andrew Slaughter Shadow Minister (Housing) 10:57 am, 3rd February 2017

It is a pleasure to be here for the Opposition to respond to the Bill. I wish David Tredinnick success with it. As my hon. Friend Jim McMahon said on Second Reading, it has our support. Although it is modest in size, I am sure it will do what the hon. Gentleman says and bring pleasure around the country.

It is also a pleasure to be opposite the Minister for the second week running, but I would just say this to the promoter of the Bill: check the new burdens money, and make sure it is all there at the appropriate time. Having said that, I do not—unlike last week, when we spent five hours on the concluding stages of the Homelessness Reduction Bill—want to prolong the debate.

I will just make two short observations. When Kevin Foster was making his interesting and somewhat lengthy interventions earlier, he said two things that I mildly disagreed with and that the Minister may wish to comment on. One was that local authorities can fill their boots with parking charges and use the money for whatever they like. The facility to charge money under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 was tested in the case of Attfield and Barnet, and the conclusion of the learned judge, Mrs Justice Lang, was that

“the 1984 Act is not a fiscal measure and does not authorise the authority to use its powers to charge local residents for parking in order to raise surplus revenue for other transport purposes funded by the General Fund.”

So although there are a variety of things connected to parking and other road traffic and transport matters that local authorities can use the funds for, I do not think that parking charges can simply be used as a revenue-raising measure.