THE NEW cashless system in Bromsgrove town centre should help free up an enforcement officer to help clampdown on illegal and irresponsible parking in other parts of the district.
At the full council meeting on Wednesday night, Labour’s Coun Peter McDonald put forward a motion calling for three of the authority’s enforcement officers to operate in Rubery and other village centres.
That, deputy learder Coun Geoff Denaro said, was impractical because the six enforcement officers worked on a rota to cover seven days-a-week, including sickness and holidays.
He added the new pay and display system could free up one officer to potentially focus on other areas outside the town centre.
Leader Coun Karen May said the contract was due to be renegotiated this year with provider Wychavon and that would be a good time to reassess the situation but added nothing should be ‘set in stone’ until then.
Independent councillor Charles Hotham suggested the motion be amended to ‘one enforcement officer to operate outside the town centre’.
In the end it was agreed that ‘surplus capacity’ once the new system was introduced be available to operate outside the town centre and it was unanimously voted through.
Coun May urged councillors to liaise with the relevant officers – Kevin Hirons and Guy Revans – to highlight areas where illegal and irresponsible parking was an issue and a plan could be mapped out for enforcement officers to target those places.
Earlier in the meeting, the proposal for cashless parking machines to be installed at all Bromsgrove town centre car parks was given the green light.
It means people will be able to pay with credit or debit cards, via the MiPermit app and, in response to public opinion gleaned from an extensive consultation, one cash machine will be kept in every car park which people could use to pay with cash.
The only exception is the Churchfields multi-storey which will only use virtual permits or the app.
Coun May thanked everyone who took part in the survey.
Coun Rob Hunter praised the exercise and the council for running it and responding positively.
He said: “It’s great news for people who want to continue paying with cash and a lot better than approaches taken by many other local authorities.”