AT least £31,000 of taxpayers' cash is thought to have been spent on consultations over proposed Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs) in Waltham Forest this year, it has emerged.

The issue of resident and business permit parking has caused controversy in recent months, with thousands opposing the measures during various referendums across the borough.

The consultations have led to the introduction of new restrictions in a handful of streets, such as near Chingford Station, but the vast majority of respondents rejected them in most recent cases, leading anti-CPZ campaigners to accuse the council of wasting money.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act reveal over £22,000 was spent up to July on consultations for Shernhall Street/Bakers Arms, an extension to a zone at Crownfield Road, along with measures in Leyton West, Peterborough Road, Shakespeare Road, Edward Road and Wood Street.

Meanwhile town hall sources claim the consultation into making temporary Olympic CPZs permanent in the south of the borough cost the council around £9,000 to carry out.

The Guardian asked the authority about the cost two weeks ago but is yet to receive a response.

The estimated £31,000 figure does not include the costs of more recent consultations in Walthamstow's Chapel End ward and in Chingford and Highams Park.

Opposition Liberal Democrat Cllr Bob Sullivan also claimed that the council's cabinet member responsible, Cllr Clyde Loakes, had told him that the authority had withheld payment to its  contractors following its performance distributing forms in the south of the borough.

There were widespread complaints that many homes had not been sent consultation packs.

Ken Saunders, of Dawlish Road in Leyton, who made the FOI request, said many of the exercises were "pointless" because consultations in previous years in the same streets had already made the views of residents clear.

He added: "The last vote was not even marginal, it was an astounding no".

Mark Brown, who lead the Chingford anti-CPZ campaign, said: "Considering the council dropped its plans for Olympic restrictions in Chingford after huge opposition from residents, it should have realised a consultation would be a waste of time and money in most streets".

Campaigners in Leytonstone have made similar claims after Cllr Loakes and his ward colleagues wrote to their constituents claiming they were “not surprised” that households had overwhelmingly rejected CPZ proposals.

The Guardian is awaiting a comment from the council.