Call for stricter enforcement as residents 'sick and tired' of illegally parked motorists

More enforcement officers are needed to tackle yellow line parking by motorists and other offences, a councillor says.

Councillor Stephen Martin claimed he regularly witnessed up to 20 cars a day illegally ignoring yellow lines and said Redcar and Cleveland Council was missing out on thousands of pounds of revenue from potential fines.

Cllr Martin, a Conservative who represents Eston ward, told a meeting he was “shocked” to learn the local authority only employed 12 enforcement officers, whose duties included parking enforcement, along with tackling fly tipping offences, littering, dog fouling and certain types of anti-social behaviour. He said councillors and residents were “sick and tired” of illegal and dangerous parking.

Cllr Martin said: “How can this small team deal with the pressures we put on them and offer the service that our residents deserve? This is the only service which theoretically pays for itself through revenue raised by issuing fines.

“No matter which ward I am in throughout the day, I will see ten to 20 cars daily parked on yellow lines. This is potentially £700 to £1,400 a day in lost revenue - a fine for parking on double yellow lines is £70.

“Investment in additional enforcement officers will more than pay for itself in the revenue raised for the council, in turn keeping our streets safer and our residents happy.”

Councillor Adam Brook, the cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said its dedicated enforcement team covered a number of issues. He said any income generated from the team’s activities only contributed towards about a third of its operation costs.

Cllr Brook said some other local authorities had a “different approach and culture” with income generation a “prime concern” and targets given to officers in respect of fines to be issued. This led to the concentration of efforts in some areas, ignoring some others and alienating those living in those communities.

Cllr Brook said: “This approach can generate a lot of negative publicity when it becomes apparent that the key objective is to generate income, rather than educate and change behaviours.” The cabinet member said the local authority was looking at external funding opportunities in a bid to bolster the resources available to it and was continuing to work with partners to address areas of concern.

Cllr Martin added: “There aren't the officers there to deal with the situations that arise. The enforcement officers were in Eston last month for about an hour and 11 [parking] fines were handed out in about an hour. There is money to be made and we should be doing more than we are now.”