De­nial reis­sued over park­ing penal­ties

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Kaiya Mar­jorib­anks

De­nials that Stir­ling Coun­cil park­ing war­dens have been told to help claw back cash by is­su­ing as many tick­ets as pos­si­ble were re­peated last week.

En­vi­ron­ment and hous­ing con­vener Coun­cil­lor Jim Thom­son re­it­er­ated the de­nial at a meet­ing of Stir­ling Coun­cil fol­low­ing a re­port in last Wed­nes­day’s Ob­server.

A source had claimed en­force­ment chiefs met with staff two weeks ago to tell them to is­sue as many park­ing charge no­tices as pos­si­ble in a bid to put a dent in £3mil­lion worth of ad­di­tional sav­ings needed in the com­ing years.

They added that staff were told not to dis­cuss the mat­ter with any­one and is­sue tick­ets straight away rather than ap­ply a 10 minute ‘grace’ pe­riod to al­low driv­ers to re­turn.

Asked by Tory coun­cil­lor Alis­tair Ber­rill about the re­port, Coun­cil­lor Thom­son said: “The amount [£3mil­lion] is 10 times the amount we are cur­rently tak­ing in. I can as­sure you there isn’t a pol­icy in that re­gard.

“The park­ing fines re­ceived as a con­se­quence of is­su­ing penalty charge no­tices dur­ing the 2017-18 fi­nan­cial year was £295,448.70. A to­tal of £140,889.71 has been re­ceived this fi­nan­cial year to date.”

Last week, a coun­cil spokesper­son con­firmed that a meet­ing had taken place at which staff dis­cussed cur­rent work­ing prac­tices and were “asked to make ef­fec­tive use of their time by un­der­tak­ing ap­pro­pri­ate en­force­ment ac­tion in line with coun­cil pol­icy and pro­ce­dures”.

How­ever, they de­nied there had been any sug­ges­tion of un­der­tak­ing en­force­ment ac­tion out­with the coun­cil pol­icy and pro­ce­dures.

The Ob­server re­ported last month how more than 2000 park­ing tick­ets were is­sued to driv­ers in three months over the sum­mer.

Fig­ures show that be­tween April 21 and July 31 this year a to­tal of 2090 PCNs (park­ing charge no­tices) were is­sued. Be­tween Jan­uary and July the fig­ure was 5148.

The park­ing en­force­ment is­sue was one which got read­ers tak­ing to our so­cial me­dia pages.

Kelly-Marie Wil­son said: “Booked my dad who is a dis­abled badge holder. No dis­abled bays left and he parked in a nor­mal bay and dis­played his blue badge. Within one minute of leav­ing the car he was booked! War­den watched him park and leave the car but rather that ap­proach him and ask him to move he waited and booked him. That to me deffo makes it look like a money-mak­ing ex­er­cise.”

Hugh Cair­ney said: “No sur­prise to be hon­est. It’s just greed like ev­ery other coun­cil. Mo­torists are treated as cash cows nowt else.”

Mar­i­o­nanne Hunter Dou­glas added: “Coun­cil sell too many per­mits and not enough spa­ces where are res­i­dents sup­posed to park. I have per­mit and got ticket for park­ing on kerb. What are you sup­posed to do – take it in the house with you?”

How­ever, oth­ers backed a tougher stance on is­su­ing tick­ets. Davie Car­rick said: “They should be is­su­ing as many as pos­si­ble. If folk were parked where they should they wouldn’t be able to is­sue them so only your­selves to blame.”

Jen­nifer Cowan said: “Is this not just them do­ing their job well? Do­ing what pub­lic money pays them to do? Are they meant to walk about not is­su­ing tick­ets?”

Pay­ing the penalty The Ob­server re­ported last month how more than 2000 park­ing tick­ets were is­sued to driv­ers over the sum­mer

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