Council due to apply in New Year for illegal parking enforcement powers
Telford & Wrekin Council is expected to apply next month to take over parking enforcement from West Mercia Police.
The Council’s Cabinet, at its meeting on Thursday 3 January, is recommended to approve the submitting of the application to the Department for Transport which, due to its own current workload in relation to Brexit, isn’t expected to consider until the autumn of 2019. The scheme could then be implemented in 2020.
The Cabinet is also recommended not to use an external company to do the enforcing. It is instead due to approve the employing of a team of five in-house Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers who will have a range of powers to deal with environmental crime and anti social behavior, in addition to illegal parking.
The borough has been without police traffic wardens since 2009 and, although it is still currently for West Mercia Police to continue with enforcing illegal parking offences, they often don’t have the resources to do so.
Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement, said: “Earlier this year we carried out a consultation that more than a thousand people took part in. The results of that survey showed the main issues to be bad parking around schools and on pavements.
“This will not be about making money or issuing fines. We don’t want to use an external company who are only interested in issuing tickets.
“We want to keep it in house with our own Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers who will apply an ‘education first’ approach with enforcement as a last resort. We will not be a council chasing an income target as can be seen in other parts of the country.
“Our officers would not be given targets to meet. This would be all about making sure people don’t park where they shouldn’t. We will ensure that our free car parks, will remain free of charge, but also that they are used properly.
“This is made possible by the £200,000 funding from the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner agreed with the Council’s Leader to cover the first four years of the scheme."
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