NHS staff in Brent could see cost of parking permits rise 137% from April 3

A file image of a parking meter. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA

A file image of a parking meter. Picture: Jonathan Brady/PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

NHS staff in Brent could see their parking permits for residential streets rise by a staggering 137 per cent under plans passed by council chiefs.

Cllrs John Warren (Labour) and John Warren (Conservative)

Cllrs John Warren (Labour) and John Warren (Conservative) - Credit: Archant

Brent Council’s plan for a raft of parking hikes, passed by cabinet on March 11, has attracted criticism from both sides of the chamber.

NHS workers will see their “essential user permits” (EUP) rise from £144 to £150 on April 3, then following a consultation, onto £330 in the autumn – in line with what school staff pay for permits.

The EUP scheme allows all public sector workers and third sector employees to park their cars in any controlled parking zone (CPZ) in Brent.

The standard price of EUPs will rise from £144 to £376 per year, increasing to £440 in April, to bring it in line with that of a business permit.

School workers now pay £282, which will rise to £330 next month. That’s lower than a business permit, the town hall says, because staff are only on site for three-quarters of the year.

Outspoken backbencher Cllr John Duffy (Lab, Kilburn), said: “Labour has lost its DNA. The parking account runs a surplus of over £11million, so the council should freeze the cost of [parking for] NHS home visits or abolish the charges altogether.

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“The NHS should be in the DNA of all Labour councillors and they should be ashamed of themselves for abusing their position to increase costs to the NHS by 137pc in the hope that no one would notice. The Labour cabinet are well aware the number of visiting nurses will go up because of the growing number of elderly who will be treated in their homes. It’s a shameful day for the Brent Labour Party.”

Opposition leader Cllr John Warren (Con, Brondesbury Park), also slammed the plans. “This is a stealth tax on the NHS – the council doesn’t have to do this but it’s easy for them.

“The council has come seventh out of 32 boroughs on who raises the most money from parking. It doesn’t matter who you are with a car – you get fleeced.”

The surcharge for second car permit holders will rise from £40 to £50 and the third car permits from £80 to £100 a year.

A spokeswoman said Brent Council was still consulting on the plans, adding: “The proposed charge for NHS EUPs will be less than for other organisations and businesses.

“There are also a number of alternative permits offered to those delivering healthcare in Brent at a reduced price, such as doctors’ parking permits and the health emergency badge scheme.”

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