New Telford parking officers won't issue fines for the first two months
New parking officers will patrol Telford and Wrekin posting warning notices on illegally-parked cars up to two months before they get the power to issue fines.
Neighbourhood services chief Angie Astley said the non-penalty notes were part of the “education first” approach the authority would take when civil parking enforcement (CPE)
responsibility is transferred to it from West Mercia police at the end of January.
She stressed that, unlike other councils, Telford and Wrekin would not give its five “neighbourhood enforcement officers” a target to issue “X number of tickets”.
Five town councils in the authority area currently buy extra parking coverage from the police through a partnership deal. She said she would soon be “knocking on the door” of other parishes to offer them similar arrangements.
Ms Astley told great Dawley Town Council, whose own partnership deal is worth £30,000 a year, that Telford and Wrekin is “one of the last few authorities in the country to take on CPE powers”.
Chief Inspector Graham Preece said being responsible illegal on street parking was “to the detriment” of the Integrated Community Management Partnership’s other work.
“Parking isn’t going to be our greatest priority, but community cohesion, anti-social behaviour and so on, is,” he said.
Ms Astley said: “I’m really clear, and members of the cabinet are really clear, that we don’t want to be a council that tickets anything that moves.
“A lot of other councils have income targets to meet, and see it as a way of making money. We’re not that council.
“We want to be pragmatic and reasonable on the ground.
“We also want to adopt an ‘education first’ approach. Some officers will be on the ground in December and January to put notes on cars that are illegally parked. Not fines, because they won’t be able to, but a note on saying ‘you would have been fined’.”
Neighbourhood enforcement officer candidates will be interviewed at the end of October and start of November. Ms Astley said, when recruited, they will also have powers to deal with issues like antisocial behaviour, fly-tipping and dog fouling.
“However their priority especially in the early days, will definitely be parking,” she said.
“What I will say is once we’ve gone live I will be knocking on the door of other town and parish councils to see if they want greater coverage. For example, somewhere like Ironbridge might come on board, because there are a lot of parking challenges in the Gorge.”
Great Dawley town councillors voted to switch their partnership funding payments from West Mercia police to Telford and Wrekin Council after the transfer.