Fed up of the deadlock between the County Council and Borough Council on the issue of parking enforcement, I attempted to help move things on by proposing a motion to Kettering Borough Council’s last meeting.
For some time the two Councils have been locked in a dispute about which one of them will continue running residential parking schemes, and take over enforcement duties for other parking offences from the Police if and when parking becomes "decriminalised".
Kettering is currently the only town in the whole of Northamptonshire where the Police still have the responsibility to issue tickets to people parking on double yellow lines and blocking junctions etc. Given they clearly have more important things to do drivers often get away with inconsiderate and illegal parking. This causes particular concerns, for example in some residential areas and around schools.
Kettering Council have already said they would wish to take on these powers. Given that they already employ their own directly employed wardens it means that they can also tackle other things such as dealing with dog mess and fly tipping. This means that there are many benefits to this over the County Council’s preferred method of simply contracting the job to private traffic wardens.
Consequently I received almost unanimous support (with one Conservative Councillor who is also a County Councillor abstaining) for the following motion:
“Kettering Borough Council is committed to ensuring that an agreement is reached with Northamptonshire County Council to bring in decriminalisation of parking as a matter of urgency, as soon as possible, and that this council maintains its stance that KBC would be best placed to enforce both the new decriminalised aspect of parking enforcement and the continued enforcement of residents only parking.”
The ball is now firmly with the County Council and I would urge them to move forward with a decision as soon as possible. Any more delays mean that the people of Kettering will continue to suffer from inappropriate parking. This is not least because the Borough Council currently refuses to consider any new residents parking schemes in case the County end up running them - those residents from streets calling out for schemes will have to wait even longer. A point I particularly complained about during my speech the other night.