If you think we have expensive parking in the borough now, I can assure you that today's rates will appear cheap in another couple of years.

The upcoming local budget looks set to bail out the parking service account (£500,000) due to underperformance - i.e. not enough tickets issued.

Also there is a sum of £60,000 to freeze parking charges and a further top up into the parking services account of £160,000 for reduced car park income for the coming year.

Yes, that would be the same amount that the Brighton road car park would have earned in fees.

All sounds expensive but ok? Well, think on.

Because after the general election of 2015 under the guise of "we must make parking controls self financing ", a parking cost bombshell will hit residents.

I predict a substantial increase across the whole spectrum of parking in the borough and with level of money needed to break even more rules will be brought in like Sunday enforcement of yellow lines, annoying telephone payment schemes that generate more fines because they are so hard to use, and, of course, the pet lib dem scheme of emission based parking charges that has caused huge resentment in Richmond as it penalises the poorest because they have older cars.

All of these things I will definitely vote against, but will others join me in the nay vote in sufficient numbers to quash this?

The public are in for a hammering - but only after the election. The writing is clearly on the wall for those who know how to read it.

Councillor Tony Shields, Sutton Council (Conservative, Sutton South ward)

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