Fears over private parking in Stratford

By IH Thursday 21 February 2013 Updated: 22/02 08:06

PARKING enforcement on Stratford's streets could be handed to a private company prompting fears of possible profiteering.

Warwickshire County Council is looking at the possibility of a parking shake-up across the county which could make it savings in the region of £300,000.

Traffic wardens are currently employed by Stratford District Council, carrying out off street parking enforcement in district council-owned car parks, but also on-street parking enforcement for the county council. Three of the five district and borough councils in Warwickshire currently carry out residential and on-street parking enforcement for the county council.

But county council chiefs are considering handing county-wide control to a single body - either one of the existing councils or possibly a private company.

The latter option has raised concerns on-street parking enforcement could become target driven to maximise profits.

Coun Jenny Fradgley, who has chaired a district council working party looking at tourism in the town, said, ‘"It's vital for the town centre that parking enforcement is carried out in an efficient but sympathetic way.

"If this work is passed to a private contractor I’m worried that it could become much more target driven. None of us want to see private traffic wardens patrolling the streets with a daily quota of fines to be levied.

"I think closer working between the district and county council could be the best way to deal with this.

"The dividing line between which services are best delivered by the public sector and which are best handled by the private sector is a difficult one, but I think many people will be uncomfortable putting parking enforcement out to private contractors."

Similar concerns have also been expressed in neighbouring Warwick district.

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