Council Leader Defends Parking Policies

Believing administration "will be dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t"

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They've been branded 'Kafkaesque', 'oppressive' and unacceptable by local residents but Leader of Hounslow Peter Thompson has defended the Council's much contested parking policies.

In a statement to he states "The Report approving the use of CCTV for Moving Traffic Contraventions was introduced by the last administration (Labour) and supported I believe by all political parties (24 January 2006, Borough Council Meeting). A copy of the Report can be found on our website if anyone interested to further the reasoning behind the decision being approved.

"Cameras have been deployed in locations where illegal parking is most likely to have a detrimental effect on traffic flow. Legally, the Council has a duty to address this issue and take appropriate action.

"Hoping that road usage will decrease and that drivers will obey the road traffic signs to ensure that traffic flows freely will not happen, unless, drivers realise that there is a penalty to pay for illegal parking.

"I appreciate this is harsh, and recognise that the issue of parking and enforcement is poisoned chalice and we will be dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t.

"The aim of parking enforcement is not to maximise income for Councils but to improve traffic management for the benefit of the whole community. If any surplus income remains, after the cost of running the service has been deducted, it cannot simply all be added to the Council's general income.

"Any surplus in relation to on-street enforcement is required to be ring-fenced for the purpose of re-investing in future transport improvements. If this did not happen (i.e. no surplus), then that money would have to be found from somewhere else.

"The Council aims to operate a scheme that is self financing and not subsidised by Council tax-payers. No external funding is available. It should however be remembered that, if everyone complied with the parking regulations, no PCNs would be issued.

"A final minor point - We are definitely not using CCTV for parking enforcement in the Civic Centre Car Park. There is a CCTV System there but for safety and security not parking enforcement."


December 13, 2007