FINES AREN’T A CASH COW
Denial reissued over parking penalties
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