Councillor Shurmer presented the Parking Enforcement Task Group – Final Report. He thanked the members of the Task Group for taking part and explained the background of the Task Group and its importance given the number of enquiries Members received from residents regarding parking enforcement.
It was explained to Members that the Parking Enforcement Task Group had interviewed representatives of various organisations during its investigation including Worcestershire County Council (WCC), Wychavon District Council, West Mercia Police and each Member spent a day shadowing Parking Enforcement Officers working in Redditch.
It was explained to Members that there were some issues that the Task Group felt needed to be addressed. In particular, introducing Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) on zigzag lines outside schools in the Borough and the agreement with WCC that if excess income was generated from issuing Parking Contravention Notices the profit must be returned to Worcestershire County Council (WCC). However, Redditch Borough Council received no reimbursement if, at the end of the financial year, a loss was incurred by the Council from running the service. It was confirmed by the Chief Executive of Redditch Borough Council that in order to change the terms of the agreement between WCC and Redditch Borough Council two years’ notice would need to be given.
Councillor Shurmer thanked the Senior Democratic Services Officer for all of her hard work in organising the presentations and interviews for the Task Group and congratulated her for producing a comprehensive final report.
Members of the Task Group stated that they had found the investigation extremely useful and this had helped them in their understanding of the complexities of parking enforcement.
The Environmental Services Manager stated that the Parking Enforcement investigation had been a great process for Members to undertake and was pleased that Members had enjoyed the process and commented that the report was very welcome.
The Members discussed in detail the recommendations made in the report. In regards to the first recommendation it was suggested that a more formal process should be undertaken when contacting the Worcestershire Leaders’ Board and rather than just a discussion undertaken, a letter be sent from the Leader of Redditch Borough Council regarding the introduction of TROs for all zig-zag lines outside schools in the Borough.
The second recommendation was subject to the successful implementation of recommendation 1. It was felt by some Members that given the service already sometimes ran at a loss, to spend further money on the employment of another Civil Enforcement Officer might not be a good investment. Members noted that it was important to consider the extra officer as it would help increase the safety of children and parents around schools but as it might take some time to implement the TROs around schools perhaps it would be more useful to re-visit this recommendation once the TROs were in place.
It was suggested that the phrase ‘formally request’ be added to recommendation 1 in order to give it more weight. The recommendation was made by Councillor Baker and was seconded by Councillor Fry.
On being put to a vote the proposal was agreed.
It was suggested that the phrase ‘should consider funding’ be added to recommendation 2 in order to reflect the financial implications of creating a new Civil Enforcement Officer role. The recommendation was made by Councillor Akbar and was seconded by Councillor Fleming.
On being put to a vote the proposal was lost.
At the end of the debate all five recommendations were considered, subject to the amendment that had already been agreed to recommendation 1.
On being put to a vote the proposal was agreed.
Councillor Grubb, Portfolio Holder for Portfolio Holder for Community Services and Regulatory Services, welcomed the report and said he would happily support it at Executive Committee.
1) that at a meeting of Worcestershire Leaders’ Board the Leader should raise the need to introduce Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) for all zigzag road markings outside schools in the county. As part of this process the Leader should formally request that Worcestershire County Council write to the Secretary of State for Transport to request that additional, ring-fenced funding be provided to Worcestershire County Council that can be invested in introducing these additional TROs;
2) subject to the successful implementation of Recommendation 1 above, Redditch Borough Council should fund an additional Civil Enforcement Officer post dedicated to enforcement action around schools, to work term-time only;
3) Officers from Redditch Borough Council work with Worcestershire County Council, local schools and West Mercia Police to develop a strategy to tackle problem parking near schools;
4) the need for road markings to be replaced as soon as possible after resurfacing work has been undertaken should be discussed at a forthcoming Redditch Highways Forum meeting. All Worcestershire County Councillors representing a Redditch division should be provided with a copy of the group’s final report to facilitate a discussion of this subject;
5) training in respect of parking enforcement arrangements in the Borough should be provided in a single training session each municipal year as part of the member induction programme. New elected Members should be offered the opportunity to shadow a Civil Parking Enforcement Officer; and
the report be noted.