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> Traffic management in Newbury, Do WBC need some professional help?
On the edge
post Oct 24 2013, 07:00 AM
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We seem to have a continuing problem where WBC are still issuing 'illegal' parking fines and installing 'illegal' (unenforceable) road signs. This must indicate that there is a serious unresolved problem with the level of expertise presently available to the Council. Most of us would have expected these schemes, which frankly are not unusual, to have been thoroughly checked before implementation; basic project management.

Therefore, would it not be better to contract this area out to a larger Council who would have access to the appropriate professional competences?

Surely we cannot continue with the existing arrangements which are proving as expensive as they are embarrassing?


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Mr Brown
post Oct 24 2013, 08:21 AM
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If they are making the same basic mistakes time and again, I would have thought that the auditors would be picking it up and reporting to the Chief Executive. It's odd, though that the Council's PR people haven't managed the news release.
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JeffG
post Oct 24 2013, 08:30 AM
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It would be helpful to have some examples.

Edit: Oh, there's a link in another thread to an NWN article.
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On the edge
post Oct 24 2013, 08:43 AM
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There are two reports on today's Newbury Today page, one about parking fines, the other about signage. There have also been threads here, notably the one about Parkway bridge.


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dannyboy
post Oct 24 2013, 08:49 AM
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QUOTE (On the edge @ Oct 24 2013, 09:43 AM) *
There are two reports on today's Newbury Today page, one about parking fines, the other about signage. There have also been threads here, notably the one about Parkway bridge.

Don't forget the bollards.
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Andy Capp
post Oct 24 2013, 09:37 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Oct 24 2013, 09:30 AM) *
It would be helpful to have some examples.

Edit: Oh, there's a link in another thread to an NWN article.

Go and by a paper you freeloader! tongue.gif
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Andy Capp
post Oct 24 2013, 09:38 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Oct 24 2013, 09:49 AM) *
Don't forget the bollards.

They allegedly cost the council (tax payer)!
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Andy Capp
post Oct 24 2013, 09:47 AM
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QUOTE
A spokeswoman for the council, Peta Stoddart-Crompton, said reminders were not issued because of the cost and resources that would involve.

Since when have the council been overly concerned about those things! tongue.gif

What he probably means is that the council's record keeping on this is so primitive, they can't!


QUOTE
"The work which would be involved in reviewing every permit holder’s history since 2009 (when the council took over responsibility for on-street parking) and establishing whether they had paid an excess would, in our view, be an unsupportable use of council resources and council tax payer’s money.”

Surely if an authority are to fine people they should have a robust system in place to meet expected appeals?

As OTE suggests, on the face of it it looks like the council took on a responsibility that they simply were not equipped to deal with. Rather embarrassing for them I think.
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dannyboy
post Oct 24 2013, 09:52 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Oct 24 2013, 10:38 AM) *
They allegedly cost the council (tax payer)!

I know, those folk blamelessly at the council's mercy, having their cars wrecked.....
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Andy Capp
post Oct 24 2013, 09:54 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Oct 24 2013, 10:52 AM) *
I know, those folk blamelessly at the council's mercy, having their cars wrecked.....

At least the council didn't break the law in so far this solution cost them, rather then profit from it. A loose, loose situation! laugh.gif
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dannyboy
post Oct 24 2013, 10:09 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Oct 24 2013, 10:54 AM) *
At least the council didn't break the law in so far this solution cost them, rather then profit from it. A loose, loose situation! laugh.gif

who cares!
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Andy Capp
post Oct 24 2013, 10:11 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Oct 24 2013, 11:09 AM) *
who cares!

An attitude the council profits from it seems.
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dannyboy
post Oct 24 2013, 10:15 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Oct 24 2013, 11:11 AM) *
An attitude the council profits from it seems.

Councils in general.

parking is a bit of a hot topic, and the NWN are IMHO using a non story in the full knowledge it gets people going.

Maybe the council should just put parking permit charges on a rolling monthly standing order & leave the onus on the car owner to cancel the DD if needs be rather than expect folk to actually read & understand & renew their permits.

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Simon Kirby
post Oct 24 2013, 10:26 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Oct 24 2013, 10:47 AM) *
QUOTE
The work which would be involved in reviewing every permit holder’s history since 2009 (when the council took over responsibility for on-street parking) and establishing whether they had paid an excess would, in our view, be an unsupportable use of council resources and council tax payer’s money.

Since when have the council been overly concerned about those things! tongue.gif

What he probably means is that the council's record keeping on this is so primitive, they can't!

Surely if an authority are to fine people they should have a robust system in place to meet expected appeals?

As OTE suggests, on the face of it it looks like the council took on a responsibility that they simply were not equipped to deal with. Rather embarrassing for them I think.

I agree. A few lines of SQL is hardly "an unsupportable use of council resources", and if such a query would take more than a couple of lines of SQL then their business management systems are miserably inadequate.


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Andy Capp
post Oct 24 2013, 10:29 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Oct 24 2013, 11:15 AM) *
Councils in general.

parking is a bit of a hot topic, and the NWN are IMHO using a non story in the full knowledge it gets people going.

Maybe the council should just put parking permit charges on a rolling monthly standing order & leave the onus on the car owner to cancel the DD if needs be rather than expect folk to actually read & understand & renew their permits.

Or just do what the rest of the 21c does and pass the cost on of issuing reminders (emails/SMS, etc), all made available on line, maybe. Some places have an option to pay a little extra to be reminded.

However, in this story, it is also about a council allegedly wrongly fining people.
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newres
post Oct 24 2013, 10:43 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Oct 24 2013, 11:26 AM) *
I agree. A few lines of SQL is hardly "an unsupportable use of council resources", and if such a query would take more than a couple of lines of SQL then their business management systems are miserably inadequate.

The thing is that the council profit from the cost of the fine and then the cost of the permit. It is in their interests for people not to renew as they can then profit twice. But, yes, 1/2 hours work to send out 900 reminders once a year (they all renew in January). £300 in postage, but cheaper than the current system of taking debit card payments over the phone assuming cheques are sent in by return.

It is gross incompetence. If whoever is responsible for parking in Newbury worked in the real world, he would be out on his ear.
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dannyboy
post Oct 24 2013, 10:46 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Oct 24 2013, 11:29 AM) *
Or just do what the rest of the 21c does and pass the cost on of issuing reminders (emails/SMS, etc), all made available on line, maybe. Some places have an option to pay a little extra to be reminded.

However, in this story, it is also about a council allegedly wrongly fining people.

precisely.

as I said, a non story, but on an emotive topic.
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Simon Kirby
post Oct 24 2013, 10:58 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Oct 24 2013, 11:15 AM) *
Maybe the council should just put parking permit charges on a rolling monthly standing order & leave the onus on the car owner to cancel the DD if needs be rather than expect folk to actually read & understand & renew their permits.

The technology to support simpler and more convenient methods of paying for stuff has developed rapidly over the last couple of years. Time was that receiving payment cost firms a considerable overhead because they had to employ clerks to man payment desks or open snail-mail and process cash and cheques, writing receipts, entering payments in ledgers, and making trips to the bank. Credit and debit cards simplified the process a bit but the advent of e-commerce was a revolution. It removed the need for the clerk altogether and automated the whole billing and payment process so that repeat customers can now receive e-mail and sms bills with embedded links to process payment that is more convenient for the consumer and little cost to the supplier. Even the physical parking permit can be printed by the consumer so there's no actual need for a physical delivery. For customers who don't have mobile phones or e-mail e-commerce systems can still interface to snail-mail at minimal cost or the facilities can be provided at public libraries or council offices through self-service terminals. There's really very little need for any human intervention in something like a parking permit scheme where the whole process from marketing to the physical delivery of the permit can be automated. With residents' parking schemes being operated by pretty much every local authority in the country it frankly ridiculous that they haven't all got together to commission a common solution.


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newres
post Oct 24 2013, 10:59 AM
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QUOTE (dannyboy @ Oct 24 2013, 11:46 AM) *
precisely.

as I said, a non story, but on an emotive topic.


Why a non story? The council are illegally issuing fines. In order to make it a story, would they need to smash up their cars instead of issuing an illegal fine?
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Simon Kirby
post Oct 24 2013, 11:00 AM
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QUOTE (newres @ Oct 24 2013, 11:43 AM) *
The thing is that the council profit from the cost of the fine and then the cost of the permit. It is in their interests for people not to renew as they can then profit twice. But, yes, 1/2 hours work to send out 900 reminders once a year (they all renew in January). £300 in postage, but cheaper than the current system of taking debit card payments over the phone assuming cheques are sent in by return.

It is gross incompetence. If whoever is responsible for parking in Newbury worked in the real world, he would be out on his ear.

I couldn't agree more.


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