Exeter traffic wardens' tickets success
EXETER’S traffic wardens have issued 19,000 tickets in the first year after taking over control of parking enforcement from the police.
Between the 27 civil enforcement officers (CEOs) who now police parking in the city, a total of 19,372 parking charge notices (PCNs) were issued between May 5, 2008, and May 31, 2009, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Echo.
The city council acts as the enforcement authority for off-street parking and on behalf of the county council for on-street parking. It has received £49,663 from off-street PCNs and £504,199 from on-street PCNs, which is returned to the county council.
The FoI request comes just days before the county council’s cabinet discusses a report on Tuesday about how the CEO system has been going since responsibility for parking enforcement was adopted from the police in May, 2008.
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Regarding on-street parking, Exeter is the only authority within Devon County Council boundaries, which exclude Plymouth and Torbay, to make a profit from parking fines. The city council made a £38,033 surplus.
Although other authorities may have met or exceeded expectations, they have still ended the financial year in deficit.
South Hams District Council was deemed to have exceeded expectations, but because of higher than forecast expenditure, it has a £19,000 deficit.
North Devon came out worst. With a higher than estimated expenditure and a lower than expected income, it suffered a £209,000 deficit, more than four times the estimated figure.
The deficits were budgeted for in the first year of operation due to expected set up costs, said a county council spokesman.
The report said CPE in Devon should be self-financing and any surplus should be used to fund transport network improvements. It also said Exeter ran the largest parking service in the county council authority.
“Exeter City Council has proved it can run an efficient and cost effective enforcement service”, it said.
Councillor Peter Wadham, the city council’s portfolio holder for sustainable development and transport, welcomed the news.
He said: “I am very pleased we are getting some praise as the officers get so much criticism.
“I always thought they were doing an excellent job as soon as I got the portfolio. I am grateful that they are being recognised.
“I think we are very diligent here in Exeter.”
Although the revenue raised from on-street parking by the city goes into county coffers, Cllr Wadham welcomed news they could get more resources for the service.
He said: “As councillors, we do pick up from people in our wards who say their areas are not covered.
“The CEOs check all the areas thoroughly. But if they give us more staff we could cover it even better, people would be happier.
“Parking is a problem so we will have to keep looking at it to address the problem and help motorists as much as we can.”