Yesterday’s meeting of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee ratified the proposal that the service be directly run by the Council from 1 July 2014.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown supports the move to bring parking services in-house. “Parking services are a critical function for the Council. Bringing them in house makes sense from an ambassadorial, financial and human resources sense.
“This move delivers a greater focus on customer service, better value for money and better oversight on parking operations.”
The new arrangement follows a “robust and thorough” tender process, says Mayor Wade-Brown. She adds that it will align parking services with the Council’s ‘City Host’ on-street ambassador service, which was also brought in-house earlier this year, and the introduction of new technology to assist motorists, such as parking sensors and mobile apps.
Councillor Andy Foster, the Chair of the Transport and Urban Development Committee, says the time is right to return to an in-house service. “A shift to bring the work back to the main Council organisation will have a number of benefits, especially in allowing more flexibility to introduce new technology and for wardens to have a more ‘ambassadorial’ function.”
“We will also save money and have more direct control – which will lead to a more nimble service – one that can make changes and respond to the needs of the city and the public more effectively.
“Parking enforcement might be unloved – but it is a necessity in any city for a number of reasons – mainly maintaining road safety and giving all motorists a fair chance of getting a car park. If we had no enforcement the city would quickly grind to a halt and the livelihoods of retailers and businesses would be put at great risk.”
Parkwise has provided the Parking Wardens since 1996 and Tenix has processed the tickets since 2001. Cr Foster says the companies will continue to operate until 30 June. In the meantime there is a lot to be done to set up the new organisation while continuing ‘business as usual’.
Tenix and Parkwise have been informed of the Council decision and the Council will provide opportunities for staff to apply for jobs with the new unit.
Changes expected to accompany the transition include:
- Easier methods to pay for parking including paperless coupons.
- On-line methods to correspond with Council including resident permit applications and appeals.
- A new look for the Parking Wardens who will also have the most up-to-date handheld technology.
- The payment of the Living Wage to parking staff.