Car park “burden” warning to ERYC

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EAST Riding Council is being called on to avoid creating a “bureaucratic burden” after it was confirmed they will assume parking control later in the year.

The cabinet at County Hall opted to apply for Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) following the announcement that the police were to withdraw their service.

Humberside Police have been responsible for monitoring parking around the area, first with traffic wardens and now with PCSOs.

More than 85 per cent of local authorities across Britain have adopted a similar scheme, but there are concerns raised by the East Yorkshire Independent Party about how it will be managed and how much funding will be injected into the scheme.

The party, made up of Pocklington, Market Weighton and Driffield town councillors, who are set to stand in the forthcoming local elections in May, issued a statement saying: “Whilst agreeing the need to keep our streets safe from illegally parked vehicles, we caution East Riding Council against employing large numbers of enforcement personnel, admin staff and establishing an additional tier of bureaucracy, to do a job that the police and police-employed personnel have managed to do with a small number of traffic wardens.

“One traffic warden managed Pocklington, Market Weighton and surrounding areas. Future council manning levels should reflect this. ERYC will incur costs to take on this role, recruit and manage the new function at a time when money is tight and central Government grants reduced by up to 30 per cent.”

The party have called on East Riding Council to explain how the new strategy will be paid, and provide a full explanation of how it will work, whether it be through increased council tax or through self-funding with the revenue raised by parking fines.

The statement continued: “Parking wardens will require pay, pensions, uniforms and the admin support to manage the collection of fines and penalties. It all takes money. Councillor Stephen Parnaby, leader of East Riding Council stated that raising money via fines is not the main reason for accepting this new responsibility, but it most likely will be the second reason even if not openly admitted.

“The Conservative Transport Minister declared at the General Election in 2010 that ‘The War against the Motorist is Over’. East Yorkshire Independents call on East Riding Council to comply with this statement and introduce a lean, effective parking management team and not a top-heavy, bureaucratic burden on East Yorkshire residents.

“Whilst the government and local authority talk about the new localism bill and power flowing from the people upwards, they still make controversial decisions that affect all residents of the county without consulting them.”

However, East RIding Council has denied that the scheme will be funded through council tax. Although it was admitted that start-up costs will be required, it is hoped that it will eventually be self funding- with the cash from parking fines being used to cover the costs.

The council stressed that they are not setting financial targets, and are looking closely at how other authorities across Britain have tackled the issue.

Meanwhile, Pocklington Town Council’s attempts to lease the long-stay car parks in the town have so far proved fruitless. The areas, which include West Green and the old railway station, were originally pencilled in as part of the radical parking charges scheme proposed by East Riding Council, but which were subsequently shelved.

Members of Pocklington Town Council helped form the group Councils Against Car Parking Charges, which is looking into the cost of keeping the car parks free indefinitely.

Other towns represented include Goole, Anlaby, Willerby, Hessle and Cottingham.

Amongst their ideas is to look into the costs of ‘renting’ the car parks from County Hall. However, they have so far been unable to obtain the breakdown costs for the car parks.