THE leader of Thurrock Council,, cllr John Kent has set the record straight on their plans for parking enforcement at schools.
The matter was reported on at full council on Wednesday night. YourThurrock was the first to report on it and since then the story has made national headlines.
Cllr Kent said: "When I first thought of this more than a year ago I didn’t appreciate the hoops we would have to jump through to get it off the ground.
"We get regular complaints from schools and parents about the irresponsible and thoughtless parking by the school gates every morning and evening and yet we have ever-decreasing resources to enforce parking laws across the borough … let alone outside more than 50 schools.
"It seemed a sensible idea that people already associated with the schools – a parent or teachers who often already stand outside the gates checking on children’s safety – were able to have some official status backed up by the final sanction of issuing a ticket.
We don’t want any tickets issued, we want parents to park sensibly and not put young lives at risk. We have found that when we do visit schools, which we do every school day, the problems seem to melt away. Sight of a civil enforcement officer uniform has a nearly miraculous effect!
The uniform has to be worn. The law of the land says that to issue parking tickets people have to have been properly trained – a week’s classroom training followed by a month working with council civil enforcement officers – and wear a uniform.
In March we asked schools if they would be interested in getting involved and several said they were, but the amount of time training involves has meant this initial pilot is for only one school with one parent volunteer.
While I say we would rather never issue a ticket, we have to be able to carry out the threat if necessary.
Statement from Tilbury Pioneer Academy
"We look forward to our parent volunteer piloting this initiative to change behaviours around parking and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children and the community".