Saving drive leads to county taking on parking fine job

Car parking in the Colony in Exmouth. Photo: Paul Strange. Car parking in the Colony in Exmouth. Photo: Paul Strange.

Sunday, April 6, 2014
12:05 PM

County chiefs have taken on what is possibly the most vilified job imaginable – the slapping of parking tickets onto the windscreens of errant Exmouth motorists.

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On Tuesday, Devon County Council took over the enforcement of on-street parking from the county’s eight district authorities after the previous scheme was £800,000 in the red, writes David Beasley.

Parking enforcement was the role of the police, but in 2008 this was transferred to county hall who own the roads.

The responsibility for parking tickets was then passed to Devon’s eight district councils.

Council’s like East Devon District Council (EDDC) already had to enforce parking in their own car parks, so it seemed a sensible move.

The new scheme was to have paid for itself, but in actuality the costs spiralled and led to a huge deficit which in 2011/12 rose to £795,000.

At the same time county hall needed to save a further £110million by 2017 because of a squeeze in Whitehall’s annual grant to the authority.

So they asked EDDC to take a pay cut of £102,000 a year; and district bosses from across the county said no.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for highway management, said they predict that the new system would deliver annual savings of around £400,000.

He said: “These changes offer the greatest opportunity to reduce operational costs and to provide much better value for money for Devon residents.”

The single countywide service will be responsible for all on-street parking, with 45 civil parking enforcement officers transferring to the county council, including eight from EDDC.

Anyone who receives a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) on or after April 1, 2014, and wishes to make payment, or appeal a ticket, please go to www.devon.gov.uk/parking, or contact 0345 155 1075.

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