Green parking plan foiled at West Lothian Council
West Lothian Council has rejected Green demands for workplace parking charges as part of its 2019/20 to 2022/23 Revenue Budget.
All local councils were asked in January by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance Economy and Fair Work to consider using a new power to demand that all workplaces excluding NHS properties and hospitals collect charges from staff to park at work. The clause was designed to discourage driving to work when alternatives could be used.
However, the move was branded out of touch and incompatible with the budgets of working people, who are facing rising costs in everyday expenses across the board,
The implications on the business community were also considered amidst fears they too could be hit in the wallet.
The Scottish Nationalists had included the option to win support for its budget from the Greens. Some local authorities in England have introduced such levies with workers facing an additional tax of up to £400 a year to park at work.
The plan had met with fierce opposition across Scotland.
In one of a 16 point motion on the Revenue Budget to the council’s budget meeting on Tuesday, council leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said: “Council agrees as a matter of policy not to exercise such a power recognising the severe financial impact it would have on businesses and employees.”
He said that commercial enterprises should not be asked to make up the shortfalls in government funding to local councils either.
He added: “We believe this to be an unfair penalisation for hard working employees. Especially as many of whom have seen a real terms drop in their incomes in recent years.”