Westminster meeting for councils at loggerheads over Kettering parking

Kettering is currently the only district in the county where on-street parking is enforced by the police, rather than county council wardens.

Kettering is currently the only district in the county where on-street parking is enforced by the police, rather than county council wardens.

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Kettering Council and Northants County Council will head to Westminster later this month to try to come to an agreement over who deals with on-street parking in the borough.

Kettering is currently the only district in the county where on-street parking is enforced by the police, rather than county council wardens.

The county council made an application to the Department for Transport last month in its bid to take control.

But following concerns from Kettering councillor Mick Scrimshaw (Lab, William Knibb) – who is also a county councillor – the two authorities have been called in for a meeting.

Cllr Scrimshaw said: “A while ago I wrote to the Transport Secretary about the future of who will have the role of enforcing parking regulations in Kettering.

“I am of the strong belief that Kettering Council’s directly-employed wardens will be much better than the county council’s private contractor who I believe will not be as effective or responsive to local public need.

“Both sides have now been called down to Westminster this month and invited to reach a compromise.

“While I genuinely do believe the public interest is best served by Kettering Council having these powers, I would not want this matter to be delayed any further as it has gone on for far too long already.”

The letter sent to Cllr Scrimshaw outlines a lack of unity between the two councils and a belief that the county council is only looking to maintain consistency as reasons for calling the meeting.

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “The Department for Transport has been actively encouraging local authorities to submit applications for civil parking enforcement (CPE) to be introduced, which was the case with Kettering borough.

“The key objectives of civil parking enforcement are to help highways authorities meet their statutory duties through increased compliance of parking restrictions.

“In November 2015 the county council’s cabinet approved a formal application being made which outlined how the authority would meet its duties of managing on street parking enforcement under CPE.

“The county council has a long history of running an effective civil parking enforcement operation in Northamptonshire and works locally with councillors and parish and town councils to investigate and resolve parking problems for local residents in Kettering and the wider area.

“The most recent example of the introduction of civil parking enforcement in the county was in the Daventry district in 2013, which seamlessly made the area consistent with the rest of county council’s parking enforcement scheme.

“We will continue work with the DfT to ensure the successful introduction of civil parking enforcement, which will encourage correct, sensible and safe parking on roads and streets across the Kettering area.”