‘Show us the money, DRD’

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The DRD is being asked to explain to Causeway Coast & Glens Council why an estimated nett income from local car parks was £100,000 down - despite the same number of parking tickets being issued.

Members of the Environmental Services Committee met last Tuesday and expressed concern at figures regarding the money raised from car parking fees and penalty charge notices.

Off street car parking functions transferred to local Councils from DRD in April this year when DRD provided Council with forecasted figures together with operating costs.

The actual figures, after six months of the new scheme, were provided to councillors on Tuesday.

Off street income had been predicted as £442,552 but in fact came in at £428, 375 - a variance of £14,177.

Revenue from PCN (penalty charge notices) was forecasted to be £113,155 but came in at £60,547 - a variance of £52,607.

The budgeted figures for rates for the car parks themselves was predicted to be £111,581 but actually came in at £153,012 - a variance of £41,431.

However, projected expenditure had been £105,353 but in fact only came in at £97,195 - a saving of £8,157.

The bottom line showed that the variance on predicted income was £41,431.

Cllr Gerry Mullan said the deficit was “startling” and asked was it because of parking attendants only visiting off street car parks three times a day. “Would that account for the loss of money?” he asked.

Cllr George Duddy agreed, asking if there had been a reduction in the number of attendants.

Cllr Joan Baird said she too had been “very suspicious” when she saw the figures.

“It is a lot of money to be holding out on us or to be lost if that’s what has happened? Have the parking attendants had targets set?”

Director of Environmental Services Aidan McPeake said: “Further analysis has confirmed that a similar number of PCN’s were issued for this period as budgeted, however, revenue collection is below the forecast. DRD have been asked to clarify...this anomaly and we await their response.”