Let Kettering Council take over parking enforcement, says councillor

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (centre) believes parking enforcement in the town should come under Kettering Council's remit.
Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (centre) believes parking enforcement in the town should come under Kettering Council's remit.

A Kettering councillor believes his borough should take overall control of parking enforcement in the town.

Kettering is currently the only part of Northamptonshire where decriminalisation does not exist, with enforcement carried out by the police for areas which do not have residential parking.

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (Lab, William Knibb) has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP, to express his views.

He said: “There is general agreement that the police don’t really have the resources to do an effective job, and therefore it has been proposed that decriminalisation should happen to allow the local authorities to take over this role.

“I understand you have received submissions from both Northamptonshire County Council and the local borough council who both want to be involved in this new scheme.

“The county council currently operate enforcement schemes in the other towns in the county while Kettering Council currently enforce residential schemes in Kettering and they do an excellent job.

“They use directly employed wardens who are also trained to deal with other environmental issues such as dog fouling, street litter etc, and also have direct contact with the council and the police and are able to report other issues that affect the community which gives the public an enhanced service.

“The county council on the other hand simply employ parking wardens who have no other duties and whose motivation seems only to be about raising revenue for the company they work for, and are not perhaps empowered to use their common sense for the community good in the way the borough council’s wardens do. They are much more public service-minded.

“This, coupled with the fact that the borough council’s reputation is generally much higher than the county’s over a whole range of other issues, leads me to write in support of them not only being allowed to keep their continued residential parking responsibilities but to extend them to general parking enforcement and deal with the day-to-day parking enforcement of double-yellow line infringements etc.

“I understand that on the face of it, it seems to make sense to have the same organisation deal with the whole of the county, but I strongly feel the borough council would offer residents a better service and see no reason why Kettering shouldn’t operate in a slightly different way to other local towns if the public are getting a better service.

“This has happened for more than 10 years and I cannot see why it shouldn’t continue to be the case.”