Waveney District Council has approved outline plans for the transition of on-street parking enforcement in Suffolk from the police to local authorities.
At a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday evening, Waveney agreed to proposals which, if agreed by other district and borough councils in the county, would see them take control of Civil Parking Enforcement.
Of the 327 district councils in England, 25 do not currently manage on-street parking and six of these 25 council areas are in Suffolk. A working group is in place to progress the development of the programme with the aim of ensuring that an effective system is created, allowing all parking enforcement to be fully co-ordinated across the county.
Business cases are being prepared that will see Ipswich, St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath, Suffolk Coastal and Waveney undertaking enforcement in their respective areas which will also cover the Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Council areas. If agreed by all other parties, the aim will be to have CPE fully operational across Suffolk by April 2019.
Waveney District Council Leader Cllr Colin Law said:
“Although there is still much work to be done, this is a logical step which will benefit local communities.
"The impact of this lack of enforcement is seen in communities across the district, with mounting discontent over ‘unpoliced’ illegal parking – in particular at pinch points around schools.
"There are significant safety issues associated with this, and under current arrangements District Councils are powerless to enforce a solution. CPE would provide those powers.”
This time scale is based on research and contact with other authorities where CPE schemes have been implemented in England. An application will need to be placed with the Secretary of State for Transport to obtain the necessary powers. This requires evidence of consultation with stakeholders together with a review of all the parking restrictions.
In addition, the councils will have to ensure that all operational process are in place including recruiting and training of staff, and procuring necessary equipment to enable CPE to be fully operational from its first day.