Parking Permit Chaos Row- Council Say 'Small Backlog' Has Been Cleared
Offers sympathy but it is unclear if residents hit by PCNs will get amnesty
Confusion still surrounds the issuing of parking permits to Chiswick residents despite an apology from Hounslow Council for the "inconvenience" caused and the promise that those who received a PCN while waiting for their permit would have their cases "treated sypathetically".
It has not been clarified whether this will mean an "amnesty" for residents issued with tickets while awaiting their paid-for permits. The issue has continued to generate debate on the ChiswickW4.com forum where several residents have outlined their frustration with the new system.
Hounslow Council issued a statement on Thursday saying that they had now cleared the "small backlog" of visitors’ permits, and all of the outstanding applications had been processed and dispatched
Chiswick councillor John Todd has said there is still "continuing chaos" in relation to the parking permits issue, though he says the numbers of outstanding cases have declined. He said he would continue to try to help residents.
"If anyone is still waiting for a LBH CPZ Permit after allowing for 10 day application turn around period will they kindly email me their details on email@example.com", he said.
He said it appeared that the number of outstanding permits seems to be reducing but it was proving difficult to get numbers from LBH of lost applications.
"My constituents getting PCN's or parking up to a half a mile away as they cant get a permit renewed is quite outrageous", he said adding that both LBH and SERCO could have done much more once they were put on notice of the issues.
The transfer of responsibility for management of parking services from the Council to SERCO resulted in complaints from locals of long waits to receive new permits and visitor parking vouchers. Some residents received PCNs despite having applied and paid for permits. Others reported frustration trying to contact the new service provider.
A Council statement said: “We have now cleared the small backlog of visitors’ permits, and all of the outstanding applications have been processed and dispatched. Residents who were waiting for their permits and who may have received a penalty notice will have their cases treated sympathetically.
The Council statement said; "There have been some teething issues with IT and postage since the start of the new contract, and we would like to apologise to residents for the inconvenience this has caused.
“We have now cleared the small backlog of visitors’ permits, and all of the outstanding applications have been processed and dispatched. Residents who were waiting for their permits and who may have received a penalty notice will have their cases treated sympathetically.
“Since the start of the contract, over 1,300 annual permits have been processed within the 10 working day turnaround time.
“If any residents have further concerns over their parking permits, they can contact the council’s customer service line on 020 8583 2000 and leave a message for a call back, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Management of parking services in Hounslow Borough was handed over to outsourcing company SERCO on August 5th. Applications are now processed from an office in Park Royal along with those from the boroughs of Brent and Ealing. Residents had reported that after waiting over two weeks for a permit renewal when they tried to contact SERCO on the given e-mail their message had bounced back. A number of individual cases can be read on this website's Forum.
Cllr Ed Mayne, cabinet member for community safety and regulatory services, said: “I can assure residents the council will be monitoring the new contract to ensure it provides best value for Hounslow residents and council taxpayers. While there have been some teething problems I am confident these will be ironed out and that Hounslow will reap the benefits of a new, cost effective and efficient service.”
The consolidation of parking service management with other boroughs was introduced to bring higher standards of service and a £600,000 annual saving.
September 7, 2013