Free council car parking pledge by Telford & Wrekin Council leader Kuldip Sahota
Free parking will remain across the borough as long as he is leader, the leader of Telford & Wrekin Council pledged today.
Councillor Kuldip Sahota was addressing concerns that parking charges could spread across town centres in the borough by saying that this would not happen during his term.
Currently, most council-owned car parks on town high streets do not charge.
And Councillor Sahota pledged: "The parking will remain free as long as I am leader."
Telford & Wrekin operates 28 car parks in the borough, but only charges for the five it has in the Gorge World Heritage site.
Parking charges are in place at Telford Shopping Centre, but this is not a council-managed car park.
Earlier this month it was reported that the council made a loss of £123,000 on car parks last year last year.
It ranked 331st in the country in terms of income from parking.
Only 52 of the 359 councils reported a deficit on their parking operations in 2011/12 and Telford & Wrekin has said it needed to look at how it could cover the costs of running the car parks.
Speaking about the deficit, Councillor Hilda Rhodes, cabinet member for customer services, libraries and transport, said the council remained committed to providing free parking throughout the borough towns for our residents and visitors who use them.
But she said the authority was reviewing how the gap between expenditure and income can be reduced.
Telford & Wrekin's loss compares to the £7,000 surplus of 2010/11 and a deficit of £6,000 the year before.
Meanwhile, Shropshire Council made a surplus of £2.6 million from its car parking charges.
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