Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Business boss calls police in parking row

Bizarre comments from Sunderland City Council .. yet again. At least Camden's Councillor Knight (see post above) has had the decency and humility to accept his council's failings with a great degree of contrition. Sunderland however, seem to maintain that it is just 'one man's war' against the council. Perhaps Mr. Odunaiya should watch the video clips
Sunderland Car Parking pt1 of 3
Sunderland Car Parking pt2 of 3
Sunderland Car Parking pt3 of 3
and then look at why an Internal Investigation was launched in 2005. Then look at why all the signs were corrected and why council officers ignored advice from the DfT and Government Office for the North East.
Question on everyone's lips is why, after the BBC Inside Out Documentary was broadcast on 2nd Ocober 2006 did it take until 30th November 2007 to remove NCP Services or was it National Car Parks from the contract?

Here's one from Elton to Sunderland's officers responsible ...

Jarrow & Hebburn Gazette
Published Date: 18 February 2010
Tim Booler
A BOLDON businessman has complained to police about a council parking contract.
Northumbria Police's economic crime unit is believed to be looking at matters raised by campaigner Neil Herron, who runs Boldon Business Park-based Parking Appeals Ltd.

It relates to Sunderland City Council's handling of the transfer of the parking enforcement contract when NCP Parking Ltd was replaced by NCP Service Ltd in 2007/8, and whether that adhered to European Union procurement directives.
Mr Herron said: "There are concerns over whether it was done without proper scrutiny."
He added that because of alleged "evidence issues," and similar problems occurring in other council areas, it needed to be reported.
Northumbria Police confirmed it had received a complaint "which is being reviewed".
The complaint has also been lodged with Sunderland Council's auditor, and has delayed the signing-off of its annual accounts.
In a recent report to the authority's ruling cabinet, district auditor Steve Nicklin said: "I received a formal objection to the 2007/08 financial statements in relation to car parking enforcement.
"Similar objections have been received at other authorities, which means we're obliged to consider them together and co-ordinate a consistent response.
Also, I have recently received correspondence from the same objector, indicating that he also wishes to object to the 2008/09 accounts.
"Until these two objections have been resolved, I cannot issue my formal certificate to confirm that the audit has been completed for 2007/08 and 2008/09.
However, I am satisfied that the issues raised do not have a material impact on the financial statements."

Sunderland Council said it is aware of the complaints lodged with Northumbria Police.

Ron Odunaiya, executive director for city services, added: "Mr Herron has conducted a long-running campaign against the city council and its officers in relation to parking matters, and this latest correspondence should be seen in that context.
"On this basis we have no further comment to make."

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