Parking tickets mean prizes

Cllr Colin Barrow

Cllr Colin Barrow

In 2004 when Westminster Councillor Colin Barrow was in charge of parking he claimed he was listening to criticisms of the Councils parking service. At the time Westminster City Council had been caught out running an incentive scheme for traffic wardens who issued the most parking tickets called “Champion’s League” which rewarded wardens with TVs and pay bonuses.

Since then the Council had claimed that the reward scheme had been phased out. But Nutsville has been sent a confidential document issued by Westminster Council’s parking enforcement contractor, NSL Services revealing the incentive scheme is back, renamed ‘Values in Action’.

The Values in Action document lists prize winners with top listing given to a Civil Enforcement Officer (CEO) for beating his target by issuing more parking tickets than the beat average. Each CEO works in a set area of Westminster known as a beat, which has a set number of parking tickets a CEO is expected to issue (download values in action here).

CEO’s who issue more than a beat average of parking tickets can earn points which can be exchanged for vouchers. Winning CEO’s can spend their weekends flipping through the Argos laminated book of dreams or wander around Homebase selecting tins of road paint.

The reward scheme does have some merit, where further down the list winners can be seen giving credit to CEO’s who help catch a thief. Another CEO was awarded points for assisting a woman and her disabled husband with directions and parking advice. But we wonder if Westminster City Council have kept the incentive scheme for the number of PCN’s issued simply because the Council are desperate to fill an £8 million parking deficit. We doubt we will ever know the truth from Westminster City Council.

We have found that Westminster City Council can struggle to tell the truth after we provided a photograph of a CCTV spy car for use in an Evening Standard article. The article contained several photos of the Council’s CCTV spy cars parked illegally. Our photo showed a spy car parked at the top of Park Crescent, with its rear wheel on the kerb on a double red line blocking a dropped kerb.

Westminster City Councils enforcement operations manager, Bob Poston, said our photo was in fact of a CCTV spy car on a red route which had stopped to reverse into a parking place. This was even though there was no parking space behind the car, which didn’t even have its reversing light on.

So just so there is no doubt that the spy car was parked we have published this little video of the car which shows it parked with its hazard warning lights on. We wonder if Mr Poston would like to change his story now?

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