Council formally applies to take over enforcement of illegal parking
Telford & Wrekin Council has confirmed it has applied to take over illegal parking enforcement from West Mercia Police.
The Council’s Cabinet, at its meeting on Thursday 3 January approved 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. The scheme could then be implemented in 2020.
The Cabinet also approved employing a team of five in-house Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers instead of an external company. The officers will have a range of powers to deal with environmental crime and anti social behavior, in addition to illegal parking.
Speaking at the meeting on 3 January, Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Enforcement said: “I want to stress that we will not be using an outside private firm for this enforcement role. By having an in house team we can ensure they adopt an education first culture with enforcement as a last resort. We will definitely not be one of those councils chasing an income target and our officers will not be given targets to meet, unlike many other schemes across the country.
“This is not a money making scheme. If we were to be in a position where we have issued more parking fines than expected then any additional monies has to be spent on highway related improvements such as improving safer routes to school, improving off street parking and helping to maintain free car parking on many of our council owned car parks.
“We are often contacted by local residents on many occasions wanting us to tackle illegal parking in their locality and this leads to some frustration when we say we can’t take action as we don’t have the powers.
“I also believe that local residents appreciate that the police have greater priorities in tackling more serious crime than parking enforcement and are supportive of the council adopting these powers.”