Scrutiny Councillors shine a spotlight on Council Parking Services

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The Scrutiny Programme Committee met with the Cabinet Member for Environment Enhancement & Infrastructure Management, Councillor Mark Thomas to discuss a specific aspect of his cabinet portfolio namely, Parking Policy, Control & Enforcement. This covered work in relation to Off Street Car Parks, Civil Parking Enforcement (on street parking restrictions), Park and Ride Sites, and the Abandoned Vehicle Service.

Committee Members discussed the potential difficulties with the enforcement of residents parking bays given that there are now paperless permits. This makes it impossible for residents to check that vehicles in the bay are legitimately parked. The Committee suggested that since certain information is already available to the public such as typing in a vehicle registration number to check whether a vehicle is taxed or has a MOT, it may help if information on whether a vehicle had a residents parking permit was also accessible, so that people can then call for enforcement if necessary. Committee Members were informed that officers would investigate this but suspected there may be issues around privacy and data protection.

Cllr Peter Black, Chair of the Scrutiny Programme Committee, wrote to Cllr Thomas to reflect on the Committee’s views, requesting a written response to the Committee’s suggestion on residents parking and the feasibility of information about residents parking permits being made public.

In his response, Cllr Thomas has explained that there is currently no facility within the software, within the Chipside MiPermit digital permit system used, to allow the export of certain data onto the internet without risking other information being accessed. However, he added that discussions will be held with other Councils that use the MiPermit system to see whether there is wider interest in this, and raise with Chipside’s software developers to see if further developments could allow for this function.

Cllr Thomas highlighted that members of the public can contact the Council about any residents parking issue and whilst they would not be told whether a vehicle was permitted or not the Enforcement Team would action as appropriate. He stressed that members of the public should not challenge individuals themselves but leave enforcement to the Council.

In terms of on street enforcement the Committee was informed that safety is one of the key reasons for discouraging vehicles from stopping and parking in areas which could compromise the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.  

Committee Members questioned what action is taken by the Council with motorists who blatantly park their vehicles on pavements in the City Centre, which is a problem for pedestrians and the disabled as well as causing damage. Cllr Thomas explained that where vehicles are found to be contravening traffic orders action would be taken, however, highlighted that there are limited powers of enforcement on unrestricted roads. In such cases, obstruction / pavement parking would be a matter for the Police, not the Council.

If you have a concern relating to residents parking you can email the Council’s Parking Services department at

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