Resolved: that the Committee would refer its views under this item to Mayor and Cabinet.
Items six and seven were considered together.
6.1 Seamus Adams (Parking Services Manager) introduced the annual parking report, the following key points were noted:
· There has been a steady increase in penalty charge notices as well as permits issued to residents and businesses.
· There had been a 38% increase in cashless payments for parking.
· Proposals were being developed for parking payment machines in the borough.
· Overall the performance of the parking enforcement provider had been good throughout the year.
6.2 Seamus Adams, Simon Moss (Group Manager Highways and Transport) and Ralph Wilkinson (Head of Public Services) responded to questions from the Committee, the following key points were noted:
· The number of enforcement agents had been increased last year – six agents had been added – making the total for the borough 30 agents.
· The level of enforcement activity was under constant review.
· Decisions to increase levels of enforcement were taken on a case by case basis – depending levels of infringement as well as requests from councillors and members of the public.
· CCTV could only be used on some types of infringement.
· Increasing digitisation would enable agents to cover more area.
· The surplus created by the parking service was ring-fenced for spending on highways and transport. The Council spent more than this sum on highways and transport in the borough.
· There was a prioritisation programme for controlled parking zones. The process could accommodate requests for the removal of controlled parking zones although no request to remove a zone had been yet been made.
· There would be a new process for prioritising controlled parking zone consultations. The aim was to ensure that resources were not spent on carrying out consultations with residents that resulted in a vote against the implementation of a new zone.
· Key performance indicators for the extension of the parking contract were based on standard measures for the delivery of parking services.
· There was no proposal for a new borough wide controlled parking zone.
· The borough wide review would give a view from the whole borough about priorities.
· Officers were planning to use online platforms for the borough wide controlled parking zone consultation. There were concerns about using polling stations for controlled parking zone consultations given the potential legal and logistical complications of doing so.
· Officers did not intend on carrying out consultations on the implementation of two hour zones where it was clear that a two hour zone would be difficult to implement and enforce.
· Officers would give consideration to the schedules of enforcement agents to make their rounds less predictable.
· The provision of free visitor permits had been introduced to mitigate the impact of increases in fees for resident parking permits.
· Administration of the permit scheme was more expensive than the value of the parking so the intention was to target free permits towards those most in need.
· Residents could request parking permits for carers. People with Blue Badges received a free resident’s permit.
· Officers would raise the issue of enforcement on red routes with TfL and the police.
· There were pros and cons of focusing enforcement in the evenings (rather than during the daytime).
6.3 In Committee discussions, the following key points were also noted:
· The Parking Service was producing more revenue than it spent. Consideration could be given to increasing expenditure on enforcement.
· There might be wider needs in the review of controlled parking zones than just the implementation of new zones.
· Consideration should be given to the potential of using polling stations during elections for votes on controlled parking zones.
· Consideration should be given to the potential for 24 hour enforcement of parking in the borough in key areas, such as the hospital.
6.4 Resolved: that the Committee’s views be referred to Mayor and Cabinet as follows:
· The Committee believes that the proposal for the removal of free parking permits should be reconsidered in order to ensure that the change does not have a detrimental impact on the most vulnerable (including those with a need for care).
· The Committee recommends that officers should carry out further work to ensure that people parking in areas with two hour enforcement are not able to take advantage of online payment options to park all day (paying remotely for the period of parking control).
· The Committee is concerned that regular enforcement rounds rely too much on routine and that further work should be carried out to ensure that people parking are not able to easily anticipate the movements of enforcement agents.
· The Committee recommends that the Council should consider how enforcement of all types of parking infringement is carried out. Members believe that this should include the Council’s approach to the enforcement of TfL ‘red routes’ as well as enforcement in the evenings and at weekends.
· The Committee would support the growth of the parking service to increase enforcement activity whilst keeping income and expenditure at the same level.
· The Committee endorses the proposed measures to help improve air quality.