Home Barking, Dagenham, & Surrounding Areas Havering residents issued stern warning – you will pay ULEZ without a car as councils hit

Havering residents issued stern warning – you will pay ULEZ without a car as councils hit

ULEZ on havering

After Sadiq Khan expands the city’s ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) on August 29, Havering residents have been warned of council “price hikes”, an increase in potholes, and a reduction in local government services. According to reports, all of the capital’s boroughs will have to pay approximately £240,000 to pay the £12.50-per-day levy for their non-compliant fleets of vehicles, resulting in a reduction of funding elsewhere.

Conservative Havering Council councillor David Taylor said: “Councils operate a lot of vehicles from passenger transport to street sweeping machines and parks maintenance vans. Only passenger transport is exempt. The data shows Havering Council will be liable for around £240,000 of fines a year.

“They made no provision for this in this budget and it will also mean some vehicles have to be disposed of earlier than planned for. If this £240k is replicated in all London Boroughs new to ULEZ, I come to a figure of around £4m a year.

“That’s £4m of council tax money going into TfL to pay ULEZ fines. Regardless of whether your car is compliant or not, you will be paying for ULEZ through your council tax. Given that council’s have already increased council taxes by the maximum, this will mean £240k a year that Havering can’t spend on local services. Havering Council recently doubled the price of resident parking permits, in order to raise an extra £250k in revenue.

“Whilst at the same time cutting millions from road maintenance just to balance the budget. This not only means that our roads will be in an even worse state, it also means thousands of residents will be hit with yet another price hike when money is tight. Having to pay TfL £240k a year in ULEZ fines, to run the council’s fleet, is going to stretch Havering even further and result in yet more punitive price hikes.

“The council delivers vital services with its fleet, such as street cleaning and property maintenance. Khan’s ULEZ will hamper the council’s ability to provide these. ULEZ isn’t just a tax on those with non-compliant cars, it’s a tax on every Havering resident.”

Asked if they recognised the figures produced by Cllr Taylor and if the council plans on paying ULEZ fees on its fleet after the £12.50 daily fee’s expansion on August 29, a spokesperson said given the political nature of Councillor Taylor’s comments, the authority was not prepared to comment. They did however point out “some inaccuracies”.

For example, the authority stated that it did not double the price of resident parking permits, but rather increased them by £5. A previous month’s error may be “the reason Cllr. Taylor is mistaken.”

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council said on May 3: “The process of agreeing the new permit parking charges has been reviewed.

“A paper showing the first permit parking increases for many years was included at the Overview and Scrutiny committee and at the Cabinet Meeting held on the following evening. An Addendum was emailed to Cabinet Members on the day of their meeting, with higher increase charges to those presented to the Scrutiny Committee. This was received too late for Cabinet Members to have oversight of and comment on.”

Havering Council also refuted Cllr Taylor’s claim that the authority is reducing road spending. A spokesperson stated that the council will invest £6 million in its highways improvement programme this year.

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A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “The Mayor has been clear that the decision to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone London-wide was not an easy one, but necessary to tackle toxic air pollution. Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely each year due to air pollution, children are growing up with stunted lungs and thousands of people in our city are developing life-changing illnesses, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.

“We know that councils are keen to do the right thing and ensure their vehicle fleets are as clean as possible. TfL will continue to engage with outer London boroughs and ensure they are prepared for the London-wide expansion of the ULEZ this August.”

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