NORTH WEST LEICESTERSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL
EXECUTIVE BOARD – 7th MARCH 2006
Title of report DECRIMINALISED PARKING ENFORCEMENT (DPE)
Contacts Councillor Gordon Tacey, Deputy Leader –
Andy Vaughan, Director of Environment – 01530 454555 –
Keith Fairbrother, Head of Street Management – 01530 454591 –
Purpose of report To update the Executive Board on the proposal to implement
Decriminalised Parking Enforcement throughout Leicestershire.
Strategic aims i) Quality, good value, accessible services
ii) Local Prosperity and Employment
iii) Attractive Sustainable Environment
Financial/Staff There will be both financial and staffing implications of DPE but
at this stage they aren’t quantifiable.
Health/Anti-Poverty There are links to effective parking management and air quality.
Crime and Disorder There are links to effective parking management and crime and
disorder, especially in respect of a ‘patrolling presence’.
Risk Management Risk will be a key consideration of the project planning,
especially financial risk and organisational image.
Human Rights None
E-Government The procurement of an IT system for DPE will be a part of the
project, although this is likely to be provided by the County
Monitoring Officer The report is satisfactory
Comments of Section
151 Officer The report is satisfactory
Comments of Head of
Paid Service The report is satisfactory
Background papers Road Traffic Act 1991.
Traffic Management Act 2004.
Report to Executive Board on the 14th September 2004.
Report to Executive Board on the 4th January 2005.
Report to Executive Board on the 9th August 2005.
Recommendations i) THAT THE REPORT BE NOTED.
ii) THAT THE DIRECTOR OF ENVIRONMENT BE ASKED
TO BRING FORWARD DETAILED PROPOSALS AT
THE APPROPRIATE JUNCTURE.
1.1 Members will recall receiving previous reports on the matter of DPE and the
involvement of the District Council. Given that this matter has been ongoing
for some time, it is worth reiterating the steps taken to date. This report aims
to bring Members up to date with the present position. As progress begins to
quicken, more frequent reports will be brought before the Executive Board.
1.2 On the 14th September 2004, Members agreed to part fund (£2k) a County-
wide feasibility study into Decriminalised Parking Enforcement. Parking
management, and the decision whether or not to decriminalise remains, of
course, a County Council/Highway Authority responsibility. However, the role
of the District Councils is crucial, both to ensure a consistent enforcement
regime on the street and in car parks, and to ensure consistency with different
enforcement approaches within each district throughout the County.
1.3 On the 4th January 2005 an update report was presented to Members seeking
support in principle for DPE and discussing issues of governance.
1.4 On the 9th August 2005, Members received a more detailed report on the
scheme, which discussed in greater detail what DPE is and its implications for
the County and the District. A number of initial ‘principles’ were set out in this
report, as well as addressing issues surrounding implementation.
2. PRESENT POSITION
2.1 The present position is that the arrangements for negotiating and agreeing a
way forward with DPE was proving difficult given that the County Council was
attempting to discuss/negotiate a way forward with all seven District Councils.
It has therefore been agreed by the District Chief Executives Group that an
integrated and coordinated approach would be more beneficial for all
concerned and, therefore, Brian Hayes; Chief Executive of Charnwood
Borough Council is acting as the ‘link’ Chief Executive with the County
Council on negotiations. This Council’s Chief Executive and Director of
Environment are liaising closely with the ‘link’ Chief Executive, Mr. Hayes, to
ensure that any officer level agreements reached are in the best interests of
North West Leicestershire. Once firm proposals are in place, Executive Board
consideration and satisfaction will, of course, be necessary.
2.2 The debate has also widened beyond simply Parking Enforcement. Members
will recall considering a report reviewing the Council’s Street Scene Services
and the emergence of Civil Enforcement as a Local Authority Responsibility.
The ‘direction of travel’ is clear and Councils are increasingly being expected
to undertake enforcement activity around ‘low-level’ anti social behaviour and
the growing trend is through the use of Fixed Penalty Notices. This is
evidenced through the decriminalisation of Parking Enforcement itself, but
also the Traffic Management Act, which decriminalises most moving traffic
offences such as one-way streets or no-entries and is already operating as a
Council responsibility in parts of London as well as plans in other major cities
being well advanced. However, this trend isn’t only parking/traffic related, with
the increasing utilisation of Fixed Penalty Notices by Local Authorities for
issues such as litter and dog fouling, powers which Councils have had for
some time, are being supplemented through new FPN powers for, say graffiti
or Commercial Waste as contained within the Anti Social Behaviour Act and
the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act. This trend of civil/FPN
enforcement is clearly evident and in Officer discussions, it has been
suggested that when exploring DPE with County Council colleagues, we also
need to have regard to this wider ‘Street Management’ activity and recognise
the emerging synergies which exist between the two functions. This whole
agenda also, of course, dovetails with other evolving thinking surrounding
reassurance policing and area working.
2.3 The Police’s Traffic Warden service is also being run down as from April
2006, with the Police diverting resources into other activities such as
Community Support Officers. Until DPE is implemented, the Police will remain
responsible for parking enforcement, however the ongoing effectiveness of
this service will be brought into question given this limited level of resource.
2.4 The County Council, as Highway Authority has indicated a desire to
implement DPE across the County as from the summer of 2007 and has now
allocated a Project Manager to ensure that this occurs. To do this, the active
support of District Councils will be necessary, especially given that it is likely
the Secretary of State will require evidence of this support before permitting
the County Council to proceed.
2.5 The lead time to implement DPE is significant and implementing DPE typically
takes between 18 and 24 months and will require:
A review of all Traffic Regulation Orders and restrictions throughout the
Approval for a ‘Special Parking Area’ Order by the Secretary or State.
Decisions to be taken around who enforces the restrictions, who
processes the notices, the extent of the ‘street management’ brief.
A detailed financial appraisal to be undertaken – especially surrounding
press and PR.
Drafting of all policies and procedures.
The preparation of a detailed Communications Strategy.
Once decisions have been taken, it will then be a matter of implementing
such decisions, which will not be straight forward either and will include
issues such as the identification of premises, staffing and staff training,
PR Campaigning etc.
2.6 The next few months will see the majority of decisions being taken and
reports containing detailed proposals being put before Members of this Board.
The most important factor at the present time is the detailed financial
appraisal, which has yet to be completed.
3. NEXT STEPS
3.1 In order to advance this project, a Project Board has been established,
consisting of 2 Officers from the County Council and 4 Officers from the
Districts. This project board will be aided by the County Council’s Project
Manager and also have a wider reference group comprising of Officers from
all eight Councils. The Project Board comprises of:
Brian Hayes, Charnwood
Brendan Coleman, Harborough
John Casey, Charnwood (LALAT link)
Andy Vaughan, North West Leicestershire
James Holden, Leicestershire County Council
Nic Rowe, Leicestershire County Council.
Plus the County’s Project Manager
3.2 A Project Initiation Document (PID) is being produced by the County’s Project
Officer and as stated above, the implementation plan is likely to indicate a ‘go
live’ date sometime in the summer of 2007.
3.3 In parallel with this process, Officers are working with colleagues from
Charnwood to explore the possible synergies of joint working – either on
parking or on the wider Street Management agenda as set out above. Once
discussions are getting to the stage of making any firm proposals, then clearly
Member consideration will be required. In some areas – say for example
vehicles removals – there will be significant financial benefit in engaging in
shared services and such activities are unlikely to be affordable for either
Council alone. The extent of any possible shared services will need to be
subjected to a similar business case and a detailed financial appraisal before
any recommendations are made to Members. Any ‘street management’ costs,
which aren’t parking related, can not be incurred by the Parking Account and
will therefore fall to the District Council.
4.1 This paper is intended to update Members on progress and, clearly, a
significant number of crucial factors remain to be resolved – not least, a
detailed timeframe, a detailed financial appraisal, a detailed plan for PR and
media and how the scheme will be configured. Members will of course, be
kept informed and updated as these issues progress and formal
recommendations made at the appropriate time.