Parking enforcement in Kettering: my letter to Patrick McLoughlin MP

By Mick Scrimshaw on February 7, 2016

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Here is a copy of my letter to the Secretary of State for transport in support of Kettering Borough Council being given powers over parking enforcement and not the County Council.

[quote]Dear Mr McLoughlin,

I am writing to you regarding the proposed decriminalisation of parking for the Borough of Kettering. You may be aware that Kettering is the only part of Northamptonshire where decriminalisation does not yet exist and parking enforcement is therefore currently carried out by the police, and Kettering Borough Council in residential parking areas.

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, as previously stated, Kettering Borough 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 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 who 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 over ten years and I cannot see why it shouldn’t continue to be the case.

Yours Sincerely,

Cllr. Mick Scrimshaw[/quote]

Mick Scrimshaw is the Leader of the Labour Group at Kettering Borough Council, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance at Northamptonshire County Council. He has a public record of standing up for Kettering as a County Councillor for the Northall division in Kettering, Northants and since May 2015, a Borough Councillor for the William Knibb ward. He is a keen cyclist and also runs a family business with his wife.

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