18 February 2019
Cabinet Member for Environment and Clean Air agrees to explore Green Party proposal for a workplace parking levy feasibility study to help tackle air pollution
Lambeth Council will explore the feasibility of a workplace parking levy - an idea put forward in the Green Party’s response to the council’s draft Transport Strategy and proposed in the Green’s 2019 alternative budget. 
Cabinet Member Claire Holland agreed to the suggestion at the January meeting of the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee, stating that she welcomed the idea and “work has already started on this”. 
The levy could see a charge applied to all businesses in the borough who own more than ten private-employee parking spaces - with exemptions for those who need them such as disabled residents. According to modelling produced by council officers in response to a request by Green Party councillors the scheme could generate close to £1m a year in revenue.
Nottingham City Council adopted a similar scheme in 2012 which helped raise enough funds to more than double the size of the city’s tram network. Since then Green Party London Assembly member Sian Berry has developed the proposals at City Hall.
Lambeth Council recently passed a Green Party motion declaring a climate emergency and bringing the borough’s carbon neutrality target forward to 2030. However the Labour budget contained no additional money to tackle climate change or Lambeth’s air pollution crisis. The Greens are now hoping that the levy will help generate much-needed income for the Council to address these things as well as reducing the number of cars on the borough’s roads.
At the Council’s budget setting meeting however, Labour councillors were still divided on the issue. Cllr Tim Windle suggested that the financial modelling produced by council officers was “written on the back of a napkin”. Other councillors also criticised the scheme.
Councillor Jonathan Bartley (St Leonard’s) said: “Councillor Holland has done the right thing by standing firm in the face of a Labour Party in Lambeth that is divided on the issue of a workplace parking Levy. A feasibility study is the right way forward to establish the extent to which it is workable in Lambeth and whether the figures produced by council officers are correct.
“In Lambeth where Greens are leading the Labour-led council is following, but there is still a long way to go before the council takes the action needed to tackle both Lambeth’s air pollution crisis and cut its carbon emissions.”