Cuts To Budget Will Not Delay Parking Enforcement in Ely
PUBLISHED: 14:48 08 October 2010
CUTS to Cambridgeshire County Council's (CCC) transport and highways budget announced recently will not delay possible plans to introduce a new parking enforcement scheme in Ely, it has been confirmed.
CUTS to Cambridgeshire County Council’s (CCC) transport and highways budget announced recently will not delay possible plans to introduce a new parking enforcement scheme in Ely, it has been confirmed.
County councillors agreed last week to cut £150,000 from a funding package set up to support the introduction of civil parking enforcement (CPE) in Ely and in other centres across the district.
The cuts will not affect plans to introduce CPE in the city however, as work undertaken on the Ely scheme is already at an advanced stage according to East Cambridgeshire District Council (ECDC) which confirmed to the Ely Standard this week that its programme remained on course for 2011.
If CPE is introduced in Ely, it will allow the district council to enforce and collect fines for illegal parking on the city’s streets and could pave the way for the introduction of car park charging, the proceeds of which would be collected by the authority.
Cllr Steve Criswell, said: “Both the county and the district council have worked hard over the last few months to prepare the way for Civil Parking Enforcement in the district. The progress which has been made in East Cambridgeshire means that our plans are on still track and will not affect the planned programme to introduce the scheme.”
The county council’s decision to cut funding to transport schemes across the county comes a result of action by the Department for Transport (DfT) which withdrew more than £2 million from its annual grant to the authority in a bid to help reduce the national deficit.
Earlier this year it was agreed by councillors at ECDC to look into the feasibility of introducing CPE and a charge for car parking in Ely, a move that proved unpopular with traders and residents alike who accused the council of trying to plug a hole in its budget.
A cross-party group of councillors was formed to examine the possible introduction of CPE in Ely earlier this year and the group is expected to complete its work by December.
Leader of the district council, Fred Brown, who is a member of the working party, said “This is a real positive step for East Cambridgeshire - it is important that we can move forward with our plans to tackle the problems both on and off street which we currently face.
“It is heartening to hear that the progress we have made means we are in a better position than others to move forward with Civil Parking Enforcement.”
What is Civil Parking Enforcement?
Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) means that local authorities are responsible for enforcing on-street parking controls instead of the police. CPE gives local authorities greater control over the reduction of illegal or inconsiderate parking. By using their own enforcement officers, local authorities can tailor patrols to suit each area, varying them when necessary and responding to one-off events where additional attendants may be needed.
It could also allow the authority’s officers to monitor its car parks and issue fines to those who overstay or don’t pay to park, should councillors be minded to introduce a charge for parking.