27 October 2012

The Cabinet have a short memory - or a lack of historical appreciation

Back in 2009 the Cabinet received a paper entitled "Responding to the recession in Barnet". In 2001 the council savagely increased parking charges and made it very difficult to pay for the un-banked and the phone-less.


What did the 2009 report say in para 9.9? This (with added emphasis by Mr Mustard):

Reduction of street parking charges - 

Over the Christmas period the Council reduced on and off street pay and display charges to as low as 10 pence per hour to £1 per day for a two week period. The move was an attempt to increase the usage of parking spaces, generating increased footfall in town centres and provide a boost to retail trading and the local economy over the Christmas period. Analysis showed that short term parking increased significantly with some car parks showing a 35 per cent increase in their occupancy rate.

It looks like we should do that again and not just for Christmas, it should be all year round. More than half of the income to the Special parking Account comes from the issue of Penalty Charge Notices for parking and bus lane contraventions with a combined annual budget of £7,175,000 which makes the projected annual off-street car park income of £600,000 look like loose change.

It would get the traders back almost to where they were before. Most traders report takings are down by 40%. Maths lesson time; you have to be careful with percentages.

Let us suppose trade was actually down by 35% and a trader had an annual turnover of £100,000.

£100,000 less 35% = £65,000

35% of £65,000 is £22,750 so when trade goes back up by the same 35% turnover only reaches £87,750 so is still 12.25% down from where you started.

Mr Mustard donated an AS level maths book last week to the Friern Barnet Peoples Library & community hub if you want to improve your skills further.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

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