Sunday, June 22, 2008

Parkwise in trouble. The meltdown continues ...

... and is set to get worse once all the restitution cases start to have an impact. The short term financial rewards that clouded the vision of the myopic council officers and elected members when they embarked upon decriminalised parking enforcement is now going to come back and haunt them. In the haste to implement the new 'cash-cow' proper checks and controls (signs, lines, Traffic Orders, contracts, paperwork compliance) were overlooked or disregarded.

As the net begins to close and councillors begin their own investigations it is only a matter of time before we see resignations and dismissals.

For all the council officials and Parking Attendants who were, and still are concerned at the activities that you have been asked to condone you can check out or e-mail us in complete confidence at

Lancashire councils to be left with '£1.1m Parkwise bill'
Blackpool Citizen
By Tom Moseley

COUNCILS have been told they need to save more than £1million to retrieve the money lost by a "shambolic" parking ticket scheme.

A new audit of Parkwise, which controls parking enforcement in Lancashire, has revealed the true extent of its debts.

Bosses say the doomed arrangement between the county and 12 district councils cannot continue after experts said it was "not sustainable".

In January the Lancashire Telegraph revealed how the current model was to be scrapped when the contract with operator NCP expires in September 2009 because it was dogged by costly overheads, admin costs and bickering between council leaders.

The report, released tomorrow, looked at the year up to March.

It reveals:

  • A financial black hole predicted for September 2009 has risen to £1.1million and will increase further if nothing is done.
  • The cost to the scheme of handing out a parking ticket is more than £60 in some areas.
  • To maintain the current model would cost the county council more than £300,000 a year.
  • In some districts the scheme lost more than £200,000 last year.
  • 1,401 tickets were cancelled due to "parking attendant error" in 2007/08.
  • Almost 6,000 tickets are currently unpaid.

It has also been revealed five councils, including Burnley and Ribble Valley, have never even signed the agreement.
It has not yet been decided who will pick up the bill for the shortfall when the contract expires, and urgent meetings are being held between county and district finance chiefs to decide who is responsible.

Lancashire county council's cabinet member for resources Tony Martin said: "Our view is very clear.
"It's a district council scheme and we administer it.
"Their view is equally clear - it's a partnership scheme and we should pay for it."

Parkwise was set up in 2004 when councils took over control of parking enforcement from the police.
The county council is in charge of roads, and districts control off-street parking.
Parkwise covers both on and off street enforcement under a partnership agreement.

Council leaders will now be presented with a series of options for the future.
These include setting tough targets for district councils to save hundreds of thousands of pounds from its parking enforcement budget and form a new agreement after 2009.

This would need to be agreed by all councils by September 1, the report said.
But the county council's cabinet member for resources Tony Martin said: "Don't hold your breath.
"We do work together well on some projects, but if it costs more to issue a ticket than the amount you're getting back, we're all doomed.

"We will go our separate ways."

The most likely outcome is thought to be the county council taking over responsibility for highways and district councils patrolling car parks.
District councils would be offered the chance to pay the county for its wardens and back office facilities, Coun Martin added.

Parking campaigner Neil Herron said: "It's been a shambles from start to finish."

No comments:

Blog Archive

only search Neil Herron Blog