Council parking department loses thousands

04/07/2012
Highways Reporters

The parking enforcement division in Mid Devon lost more than £46,000 last year, according to figures from the local council.

Mid Devon District Council (MDDC) spent £102,134 on parking enforcement in 2010/11 but income was £55,455, a Freedom of Information request from the BBC showed.

In June Devon County Council ordered a review of parking after it was revealed losses have been about £600,000 a year for the past four years.

MDDC said parking enforcement was "not a money-making exercise".

The Conservative-controlled council issued 2,349 Parking Charge Notices (PCNs) of which 1,579 were collected and 619 cancelled or written off and 151 unpaid.

Spending on the service included the cost of parking wardens and administration.

MDDC said in a statement: "Parking enforcement is not a money-making exercise and needs to be in place to ensure our town centres and streets are kept clear for the running of normal business."

Devon County Council has been reimbursing the county's eight district councils for losses on parking enforcement since it took over the service from Devon and Cornwall Police in May 2008.

A spokesman said it had ordered an independent review of the service to see how costs could be cut.

He said: "One of the outcomes will be to establish whether and how the service might become self-financing in the future."

Ray Radford, deputy leader of MDDC, said: "The only way to reduce costs is by not having so many officers on the roads.

"But if you do that they cannot manage the area and people start parking illegally."

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