Mark's 27 unanswered questions over volunteers to control parking 

Mark Inskip and parking in Ely

Lib Dem councillor Mark Inskip has 27 - thus far unanswered questions - about the proposed use of volunteers to help resolve Ely's parking and enforcement issues. - Credit: Archant

A pilot scheme to use volunteers to control parking across Ely and East Cambs has been put on ice – until at least the end of next month.  

The operations services committee pulled the plug on a report outlining how the scheme could work and a debate on a motion that would have seen £250 a head spent to train the volunteers.  

Cllr Julia Huffer, vice chair, successfully moved that the parking enforcement report go to full council for a decision on October 21. 

Lib Dem councillor Mark Inskip will have to wait until then to for responses to his 27 questions about the proposals he had submitted to the committee before last Monday’s meeting.  

" I duly submitted the questions to Jo Brooks, director, operations, copying the committee administrator,” he said.  

Cllr Inskip is querying the differences between road safety and speed watch volunteers, questions what powers of enforcement the new volunteers will acquire and what risk assessments have been undertaken.  

Some of his other questions were: 

Most Read

How many volunteers are estimated to be required to provide an effective parking enforcement solution across the district? 

How many hours a week on average will each volunteer be expected to contribute? 

 Will it be mandatory for volunteers to wear a uniform? 

Will the Police Standard of Professional Behaviour apply to the volunteers? 

Assuming they are subject to the 2021 Conduct Regulations, will volunteers be provided with support if they are subject to a complaint? 

What disciplinary action can be taken against volunteers who are found to have breached the regulations? 

He is also keen to know if the council has spoken with police and the feasibility of Civil Parking Enforcement in East Cambridgeshire whilst maintaining the existing split of free and paid off-street car parking. 

The council says it has abandoned a Community Safety Accreditation Scheme that would have allowed Chief Constable Nick Dean to “bestow some police powers” to accredited individuals - including council workers. 

Legal advice taken by the council said if any of their workers got involved it could be a conflict of interest.  

Had the scheme come in, the council could have tackled issues such as begging, anti-social behaviour, cycling on footpaths, dog fouling and removing abandoned vehicles. 

The chief constable also vetoed the council paying for a designated PCSO to enforce street parking enforcement.