THE future of how parking restrictions are enforced in and around Stafford is in doubt because of county council delays in deciding on a new contract, borough councillors have been told.
The borough has been carrying out parking enforcement on behalf of Staffordshire County Council since 2007, but the contract comes to an end in March 2015.
And two years of talks have not yet arrived at new arrangements, a meeting of the councils’ joint parking committee heard today, April 22.
“We have had a series of meetings over two years, at all levels, and we are now waiting for options from the county council, but they have not been forthcoming,” Stafford’s parking manager Steve Allen told councillors.
Possibilities being considered included the county council running parking enforcement across the whole county itself, outsourcing it to a private contractor, or setting up new contracts with district councils to do the work.
Councillor Frances Beatty said she was concerned about the lack of progress from a review that had been “rolling on” for two years.
She called for a simpler way or dividing up parking responsibilities, instead of the “strange beast” that was the current contract.
“There is a lack of clarity on this contract,” she said. “The borough council basically does the work for nothing so it is not in our financial interest to continue.
“But in lots of ways, we would love to control all the parking in the borough - and we would do a better job than the county council of managing it.”
Councillor Maureen Compton added that she was concerned that local knowledge could be lost in any contract shake-up.
“It would be a pity to take the work away from the borough because our staff know the area so well,” she said.
The meeting was told the county council review of parking enforcement was due to finally report during the summer.