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To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on14 January 2016 and authorise the Chairman to sign them.
The minutes of the meeting of the Sub-Committee held on 14 January 2016 were agreed and signed by the Chairman.
The Sub-Committee will receive a briefing paper on the two topical Traffic and Parking Controls:
· Obstructive Parking
· Anti-Social Parking on the School Run.
The Sub-Committee received a briefing paper from the Group Manager, Traffic and Parking Control regarding Obstructive Parking and Anti-Social Parking on the School Run.
It was noted that vehicles parked over dropped kerbs was a growing issue for Havering, as well as bringing danger, inconvenience and frustration to many people, it also caused a personal offence that prevented citizens from enjoying the most basic form of freedom. Residents who were subjected to this type of behaviour were unable to go to and from their homes in their vehicles at a time they determined. This kind of obstruction prevented ease of access and caused considerable distress to residents.
The Traffic Management Act 2004 (TMA 2004) stated that to parking across dropped kerbs was a parking contravention for which a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can be issued. However, the Sub-Committee noted that the legislation had a caveat that stated only “unfriendly” parking was defined as a parking contravention. Unfriendly parking was where a vehicle parked across a dropped kerb, without the express authorisation of the property owner. In Havering the friendly/ unfriendly issue had been historically managed through a system of positive assumption. This means all residential dropped kerb parking was considered to be friendly and only considered unfriendly upon notification of that from a resident.
Officers stated that in the event of unfriendly parking, a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) was sent within one hour to address the situation and where appropriate, issue a PCN. Whilst this was a deterrent, the vehicle parked in contravention would still remain, meaning the initial obstruction and resident’s access remained blocked. It was agreed that this was not a solution.
Officers outline a proposed solution which would look at relocation of vehicles. The Sub-Committee was informed that the TMA 2004 had published alongside it a document entitled “Operational Guidance to Local Authorities: Parking Policy and Enforcement”. This included a section on vehicle immobilisation and removal.
Historically in Havering there had been little or no vehicle removals in respect of obstructive parking. When a vehicle was removed to the car pound, the vehicle was subject to a £40 a day storage charge. This charge was recoverable from the vehicle owner upon collection, along with the payment of the PCN and release fee. Vehicles that were not collected after 90 - 100 days were considered safe to dispose of, normally through auction.
The Sub-Committee noted that it was not uncommon for vehicles to not be claimed as their value was less than the penalty, release fee and storage charge. All monies raised at auction go towards settling the storage fee however it was historically common for the Council to pay any shortfall in auction income, to settle any storage fees. Whilst it was accepted that the Council can remove illegally parked vehicles, especially those causing an obstruction, the risks carried significant financial burden on the Council. Officers therefore explained that a secondary option that carried less risk financially could be considered.
It was suggested that the ... view the full minutes text for item 17.
Committee Members are invited to indicate to the Chairman, items within this Committee’s terms of reference they would like to see discussed at a future meeting. Note: it is not considered appropriate for issues relating to individuals to be discussed under this provision.
The Sub-Committee suggested the following areas as subjects they would wish to scrutinise in the future:
· Street lighting – maintenance and repairs as well as any environmental savings.
· Moving Traffic Contraventions – update on the success, proposed new sites.