Islington Council issues 200 parking tickets to its own staff - and pays some of them
�Almost 200 parking tickets were issued to Islington Council vehicles carrying out council business in one year, the Gazette can reveal.
Figures from a Freedom of Information (FOI) request show that council-contracted traffic wardens issued 192 penalty charge notices (PCNs) on the authority’s cars and vans in the financial year ending March 2011.
This means up to �23,000 could have been collected in charges by town hall from it’s own staff, and in some cases the fine will be paid by the council itself.
Added to the cost of paying the traffic wardens and the admin staff to process the payments, many have criticised the council for wasting money.
Cllr Greg Foxsmith, transport spokesman for the opposition Lib Dem group, said: “It’s staggering – absolutely mind boggling. How can you issue tickets to your own staff?
“It’s a PCN frenzy and to find out so many of them are actually wrongly issued is quite worrying.”
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Oriel Hutchinson, organising secretary of Islington Conservative Party, said: “It’s absolute stupidity. It’s complete incompetence.
“But it doesn’t surprise me. If you try to contest a parking ticket they completely ignore you and if you take it to a tribunal they claim you never contacted them.
“It shows the chaos the whole service is in.”
Islington has been named as the council handing out the third largest number of PCNs in London – with 209,000 given out last year.
A quarter of those were later cancelled – the highest figure in the capital.
Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “If council drivers ignore parking rules they get a ticket like anyone else, and generally speaking, if staff are at fault, they pay for the ticket.
“Most of the tickets the council cancels are because the money is not recoverable – for instance those issued to foreign vehicles – or for discretionary reasons.”
He added that there is lots of pressure on Islington streets, and some years ago under the previous Lib Dem administration nearly 300,000 had been issued.