FIGURES have revealed the surplus produced from Poole council’s parking operations dropped by 92 per cent over the past year.

Some £5.8 million revenue was generated from the borough’s on and off-street parking activities during the 2016/17 financial year. However, expenditure was £5.6 million, resulting in a surplus of just £186,775.

This is considerably lower than the surplus produced from parking operations in the 2015/16 financial year, which was £2.2 million. The total income – raised from parking charges, permits, and penalty notices – was £5.4 million and expenditure was £3.2 million.

Poole’s reduction in surplus also bucks the national trend as the amount of spare cash councils across England raised from their parking operations in 2016/17 was a 10 per cent increase on the previous year.

Borough of Poole did not respond to the Daily Echo's request for comment at the time of going to press.

Most councils make a surplus on their parking activities, and this is to be spent on local transport projects.

Since 2008/09, local authorities have been required to produce annual reports on their parking activities each year and how any surplus is being spent.

Elsewhere in Dorset, Christchurch Borough Council saw a 1.4 per cent increase in surplus generated from off-street parking activities during the past financial year. Dorset County Council is responsible for the town’s on-street parking but was not able to provide figures for the last financial year.

Christchurch council received a total £2.8 million income from parking operations and spent just over £940,000, leaving a surplus of around £1.9 million.

Bournemouth council was unable to provide recent figures for its parking operations.

In April, controversial parking charge hikes came into effect across Poole. Rates at district car parks rose from 40p to £1 an hour.