Parking Services Performance
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee welcomed the Cabinet Member for Environment, Councillor Dean Cohen, the Street Scene Director, Lynn Bishop, and the Highways Manager – Traffic and Development, Paul Bragg, who were in attendance to present a report on the performance of parking services. The Committee requested that a representative from NSL be in attendance at the next meeting when parking services performance was considered.
Officers reported that there had been a number of performance issues over the previous six months and that steps were being taken to address these. Members were advised that the purpose of parking enforcement was to improve the flow of traffic. It was noted that there was a national trend for increases in paid for parking and a decrease in penalty charge notices (PCNs).
The Committee expressed concern that the Council had not properly assessed the risk of no back office staff transferring to NSL, an issue which had created unexpected pressure in the initial period after service transfer. Officers identified that NSL had not anticipated many staff transferring, but had expected that some would. It was emphasised that that should have been a contingency arrangement in place to manage this risk because the recruitment and training of new staff had affected service performance.
Responding to a question regarding KPI 2 (Volume and Effectiveness of Input Resources), officers informed the Committee that there were no targets or incentives for the contractor to issue PCNs. As part of the contractors bid, they were required to identify the resources required to enforce controlled areas. PCN projections were used to identify the resources required to enforce, rather than monitor performance.
Referring to KPI 12 (Lines and Signs Maintenance), the Committee questioned whose responsibility it was to maintain signs and lines. Officers advised the Committee that NSL reported non-compliance (e.g. where signs and lines were deficient and prevented PCNs from being issued) and the Council would be responsible for bringing these up to standard. It was noted that NSL could be commissioned to deliver signs and lines improvements, but their rates for this work were not currently cost effective. The Committee noted that performance reporting against KPI 12 would not commence until month 26 of the contract.
The Committee noted that there had been an increase in the number of appeals going to the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service and the increased number of successful appeals had resulted in a higher cost to the authority. Members noted there were KPIs in the contract relating to issuing good quality PCNs to minimise instances of successful appeals.
Officers reported that to date there had been no financial penalties issued to NSL due to failure to adhere to contractual terms.
1. The Committee note the Parking Service Performance report.
2. Officers be requested to provide details of enforcement areas requiring signs and lines improvements and a schedule for completing these works.
3. The Committee request that the Cabinet Member for Environment, Housing & Environment Lead Commissioner and Street Scene Director undertake a root and branch review of parking service operations (paragraph 9.10 refers) with a view to rationalising the operation to improve the customer journey.
Report author: Lynn Bishop, Declan Hoare
Publication date: 22/07/2013
Date of decision: 18/06/2013
Decided at meeting: 18/06/2013 - Contract Monitoring Overview and Scrutiny Committee