Parking cost under Government fire

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WIGAN Council could have to reveal exactly how the money it makes from car parking is spent as part of a major transparency drive.

A consultation is being held by the Government on plans to make local authorities publish a register of anything on which they spend more than £500.

The planned inventory would reveal exactly how much councils spend on tenders, contracts, senior pay, councillor expenses, voluntary sector funding, meetings and frontline service data.

Local authorities would also have to publish number of on and off-street parking places and the revenue raised from them, the money made from parking fines and the number of free parking spaces available. Councils across the country raised £1.27bn in parking income during 2010-11.

The plan has been drawn up by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which has openly suggested parking is too expensive and deterring people from visiting the High Street.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “It is right that taxpayers get to see how town halls spend their hard-earned taxes so they can properly hold local politicians to account.

“We will expose a great council cash-cow cover-up, unmasking punitive parking practices that hit residents in the pocket.”