A COUNCIL has recorded a 4.8 per cent fall in parking fees over the last year – but still managed to rake in over £1.2m.
Hartlepool Borough Council earned £1,125,145 from pay and display parking machines in car parks and on-street meters around the town.
A further £136,683 from season ticket and business permit parking for both on and off-street parking was raised from April 2010-2011 – making a total of £1,261,828.
However, this is £63,795 less than the previous year when a sum of £1,325,623 poured into the coffers.
That figure was made up of £1,193,235 for pay and displays, and an added £132,388 for season tickets and permits.
Council chiefs say the revenue is ploughed into car park improvements and security, but also to support the running of authority services generally.
They blamed the reduction in parking funds this year on the national economic situation, but say they are trying to generate more income with a number of schemes.
A council spokesman said: “For many years councils have been expected by the Government to generate income by charging for services, such as car parking.
“This income helps support the running of car parking services and council services generally. Much of the income helps to cover the maintenance of car parks and improvements including security.”
He added: “In recent years there has been a gradual decline in car parking income which is a reflection of the economic climate and consistent with the trend throughout the rest of the country.
“As a council we have explored ways of encouraging shoppers to use town centre car parks including free use after 4pm and continuing with free parking on Sundays. However, we are still anticipating a drop in car parking income in the current financial year and have built this into our budget planning.”