Milton Keynes Today
'Ticket targets' are under fire
JUST as the Government proposes council parking enforcement should be 'motorist friendly' the Citizen can reveal wardens in Milton Keynes are operating ANOTHER bonus scheme for dishing out more penalty notices.
NCP wardens can be nominated 'Top Dog of the Week' and win cinema tickets or extra time off.
The new rewards system, apparently the brainchild of local NCP bosses, has this week come under fire from some of its employees, hard-pressed motorists and Milton Keynes Council.
"It started a few weeks ago to try to make us give out more penalty tickets," said a warden.
Another revealed how the highest daily penalty notice totals are written on a whiteboard in the canteen at NCP's Upper Fourth Street office under the heading 'Top Dog', or for female workers 'Top Cat'.
At the end of each week the person who has issued the most parking tickets gets a prize. For one winner this was an hour off on a busy Saturday afternoon and for another it was a pair of tickets to the cinema. Said the former employee: "NCP seem a bit obsessed with how many tickets everyone issues. If you finish the day with only seven, for example, you are hauled in to explain why.
"My argument was that there were only seven parking offences out there and we can't dish out tickets unfairly. Yet the company seems more concerned about its targets."
"Parking attendants should issue tickets as and when an offence is committed and it is totally wrong that they should be under pressure from an incentive scheme," he said.
NCP spokesman Tim Cowen told the Citizen: "The table was an unofficial experiment which some staff asked for and had no prizes or incentives linked."
We have nonetheless asked the staff to take the table down because we do not want the public to misunderstand the job we are tasked to do."That job is keeping the streets clear and the traffic flowing."
A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council, on whose behalf NCP operates parking measures across the city, said it was unaware of any 'league tables'."There is certainly nothing within the contract between the council and NCP that sanctions any such scheme."We are concerned about this and we will be speaking to NCP although they have assured us that this was an isolated situation and not company policy," he said.
NCP took over running the parking scheme seven months ago from Vinci Park. A year ago the Citizen revealed how Vinci was running a reward scheme for parking attendants who issued the most penalty notices.
by Sally Murrer - email@example.com
13 July 2006
Sunday, July 16, 2006
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