In a twist on the usual story of Local Authorities making huge sums of money from motorists, the Northampton Chronicle and Echo reports that the County Council is actually losing money.
About 35,000 PCNs were issued which netted the Council over £1.1 million, but overall it is said that they made an £18,000 loss (after also taking into account revenue from parking charges). Most of the Parking Services in the area are outsourced to NSL Service Group, a contract costing approx. £1.4 million per year.
The Council say that the scheme is run to be ‘cost-neutral’. While this would seem to insulate them from claims that they are trying to profit from motorists, it also opens them up to criticism over a loss to the taxpayer for the service. It could be argued that at least with a for-profit scheme, any surplus can be re-invested in local roads. Certainly judging by a few of the comments in the article, the Council couldn’t win either way.