Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Parking Probe Urged

Sunderland Echo
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
By Paul James

Calls were made today for an emergency meeting to clear up arguments over Sunderland's parking ticket fiasco and speed bump row.

Opposition councillors, furious at the money and time that is going into correcting the mess, want full investigations by the Government and through a public inquiry.
Their demands come after chief executive Ged Fitzgerald admitted in a letter to campaigners that orders to make 20mph zones in the city had not been in place.
Captain David Green claims that lack of an appropriate order meant humps installed before 1996 should be classed as an obstruction in the highway and are therefore illegal under the Road Traffic Act.
The missing orders were uncovered by the council as it investigated the mistakes that led to thousands of parking fines being reimbursed.
Now Tory councillors have demanded the meeting to vote on a motion calling on council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald to set two investigations in motion.
They want to ask Transport Secretary Alistair Darling to make sure the city's
parking regime is watertight, and launch a public inquiry into the whole affair.
Conservative group leader, Coun Peter Wood, said: "We are calling for an extraordinary meeting of the city council to discuss the matter.
"Otherwise it won't be discussed by the council and won't get on to the council agenda.
"The internal audit report and the chief executive's report has been considered by the review committee and it's also been to cabinet, but it hasn't been to council.
"The only way at the moment there will be any mention on a council agenda of decriminalised parking enforcement will be in the district auditor's annual inspection, which is hardly a satisfactory way of doing it."
The motion, signed by all the Tory councillors, reads: "We, the undersigned members of the council, seek an extraordinary meeting of the city council - within the next seven days because of the urgency of the matter - to discuss the following resolution:
This council instructs the chief executive to request the Secretary of State for Transport
1. to ensure, as a matter of urgency, that the whole of the decriminalised parking enforcement scheme operating in Sunderland is currently legal,
2. to convene an appropriate independent public inquiry into the operation of the city's decriminalised parking scheme from inception up until the present time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The extraordinary meeting of the Council has been schedule for 4pm on Wednesday 1st March. This will be full by the 'normal'Council meeting at 6pm.

Lee Martin

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