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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet Meeting: 15th October, 2012

 

Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services

 

Civil Parking Enforcement - Progress

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To advise Members of the progress being made towards obtaining Civil Parking Enforcement powers and the outcome of the recent Audit review of the project.

Recommendations

1.         That Cabinet note the contents of this report.

2.         That the report be referred to Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

3.         That a further progress report be presented to Members in January 2013.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.         To advise Cabinet.

2.         To advise the Scrutiny Committee.

3.         To provide a further update on progress with this project.

Background

2.         A report was presented to Cabinet on 23rd July 2012 entitled 'Civil Parking Enforcement - Progress'.  This report advised Members of the progress being made towards obtaining powers from the Welsh Government (WG) to take on Civil Parking Enforcement within the Vale of Glamorgan.  Cabinet resolved the following:

That progress to date in respect of the Council obtaining Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) powers be noted but a further report on the matter be submitted to Cabinet in September 2012.

Relevant Issues and Options

3.         It was reported to Cabinet on 29th February 2012 that it was intended that the Council will obtain CPE powers by April 2013.  This is still the case.  A description of the progress to date is indicated below. 

 

 

Review of Traffic Regulation Orders, Signs and Lines

4.         Alpha Parking have undertaken a review of existing traffic regulation orders (TROs), signs and lines.  Following an in-house check on the data received, some survey work had to be reviewed.  This element of the project has been concluded.

5.         Discrepancies between the TROs, signs and lines have been identified and these are currently being addressed.   

Production of Map-based Schedules

6.         It had previously been decided that the details of TRO schedules would be presented in a map format and, as part of their commission, Alpha Parking have populated ParkMap with details of the TROs.  Following an in-house check of the information produced, additional work on this element of the commission has been required.   This task is almost complete and it is anticipated that it will be concluded by the end of October 2012.

Civil Enforcement Area Application

7.         It was noted previously that a draft application was sent to WG on 16th February 2012.  A copy of this document was attached to the previous report.  The draft application was developed in consultation with WG and a formal application was submitted on 24th September, 2012. 

8.         The following specific issues have been determined or are being progressed:

·                The proposed number and deployment of Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs):

Bridgend CBC will be the employing authority.  With a single team comprising of a Parking Manager and 17 other staff.  The number of staff and their deployment will be reviewed once the operation has had time to bed in.

·                The proposed extent of the training of CEOs:  The training requirements will be determined and a Procedures Manual will be produced.

·                Uniforms and Equipment:  Decisions on the uniforms and equipment to be provided will be determined in due course.

·                Methods of Payment:  All methods of payment are being considered.

·                Publicity Programme:  The publicity programme and communications strategy are being developed with assistance from representatives from the Communications Departments of both Councils.

·                Consultation:  Formal consultation on the appropriateness of the application with the statutory consultees was undertaken on 5th April 2012 with supportive responses having been received to date.  New on and off street TROs are being prepared to incorporate all relevant existing orders and consultation on the new TROs will be undertaken in due course. This is anticipated to commence in October.

·                Office Accommodation:  The Parking Management Team will be located in the Innovation Centre, Bridgend Science Park.  Various locations for a satellite office in the Vale of Glamorgan are being considered.

·                Back-Office Provision:  It has previously been determined that Denbighshire County Council will provide the back-office support through their Wales Penalty Processing Partnership (WP3) arrangements. 

 

Joint Service Provision

9.          The joint project team comprising officers from both the Vale of Glamorgan Council and Bridgend CBC continues to meet regularly.  Andrew Loosemore (Operational Manager (Highways and Engineering) has taken over from Miles Punter as Chair of the Project Board.  Gary Owen, Client and Business Team Leader (BCBC) remains as Project Manager with day-to-day responsibilities for planning and management of the project throughout all its stages.     

Possible Acceleration of Programme

10.      In response to a request from the Leader and the Cabinet Member for Environment and Visible Services that officers give urgent consideration to obtaining CPE powers earlier than April 2013 date previously identified, the Project Board commissioned the Bridgend and Vale Internal Audit Shared Service to undertake a study to establish if any reduction in the implementation timescale was possible.

11.      The study has concluded that that:

(1)  There are a number of tasks that could be actioned sooner or completed in less time yet doing so may increase risks to the project and would not necessarily contribute towards an earlier implementation date.

(2)  Although the project is currently on track, there is a risk that without additional resources the project may not meet the April 2013 date.

12.      Consequently, the timetable for completion of this project remains the 1st April 2013.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

13.      Cabinet approved that up to £300,000 be made available from Visible Services Reserves to progress the CPE application.  Costs to date are approximately £136,380 and comprise the following:

Technical Salaries:

£40,000 (current estimate)

Buchannan Software:

£20,380 (current estimate)

Alpha Parking:

£57,000 (current estimate)

RTA consultants

£19,000 (current estimate)

 

 

14.      The management of the CPE application process is being undertaken by the Council's Highway Projects and Traffic Management Group, Highways and Engineering.  In respect to conclusion (2) of the audit report the recruitment process for the post of "Parking Manager" has commenced and an appointment will be made shortly.  This will greatly assist in increasing the resources available to ensure implementation of the project for the April 1st 2013 deadline.

15.      A budget is currently being discussed with Bridgend Council for the first year of operation of CPE in 2013/14.  It is currently anticipated that the on-going operational costs of the service will be funded from parking fine income.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

16.      The introduction of Civil Parking Enforcement should ensure improved traffic management, which could increase parking opportunities in commercial areas by creating a greater "turn over" of parking spaces; thereby helping to support the local economy.

 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

17.      The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 allows highway authorities to make and vary Orders to regulate the movement of vehicular traffic and to improve the amenities of an area.

18.      The Traffic Management Act 2004 enables local authorities, on application to the Welsh Government, to acquire the powers to enforce parking and movement restrictions.

19.      There are no Human Rights Implications with regard to this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

20.      The proposal to take on CPE responsibilities will improve highway safety and the management of the highway network and will reduce the potential for incidents of disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

21.      The proposals will benefit all sections of the community by improving highway safety and reducing congestion.

22.      Traffic signs, parking tickets and all associated documentation related to CPE will adhere to the requirements of the Council's Welsh Language Scheme.

Corporate/Service Objectives

23.      To maintain and develop a safe and effective highway.

Policy Framework and Budget

24.      This report is within the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

25.      No Ward Member consultation has been undertaken with regards to this report as the proposals will affect all areas within the Vale of Glamorgan.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

26.      Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

None.

 

Contact Officer

Paul Gay - Group Engineer (Highway Projects and Traffic Management)

Tel. No. 02920 673086

 

Officers Consulted

Operational Manager Legal Services

Accountant, Building and Visible Services

 

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter Director of Visible Services and Housing