Tendring District Council (TDC) will not be renewing its membership of a national parking organisation in protest at the practices of some affiliates.
Concerns were raised about the British Parking Association (BPA) after a private firm which claims to abide by its standards was accused of acting unethically in a site in Clacton. TDC raised these concerns with the BPA.
In response to a motion submitted and agreed by full council tonight Fred Nicholls, TDC Cabinet Member for Corporate Enforcement, said the Council would cease to be a member of the BPA.
“In the past TDC has been a member of the BPA, and even won awards from its Safer Parking Scheme,” said Cllr Nicholls.
“However, in light of recent events locally and with other options currently being progressed through Parliament, it is time to consider what BPA membership really means to us and whether it is still relevant.”
As well as tasking the Council to not renew its BPA membership, the motion commits TDC to protest formally to the body over recent events in Tendring, and to look at how it might set up its own licensing scheme for parking firms – which is currently the subject of draft legislation in Parliament.
Cllr Nicholls added: “This Council has an agreed Parking Strategy for this District that recognises the importance of motorists to our local economy and states the aim of this District is to be ‘car friendly’.
“This Council supports sensible and appropriate parking enforcement designed to ensure safety and the reasonable turnover of parking in areas of high demand. It does not, however, support unfair practices that serve to make quick profits for unscrupulous companies at the expense of our residents.
“The licencing of private parking companies or at the least the setting up of a new regulatory body independent of the private parking sector is worthy of our full support and is something we wish to urge inclusion of in the current Private Members’ Bill going through Parliament on this subject.”