Greenwich Council has handed out its highest ever number of parking tickets in a week as the deadline looms to balance its budget.
The council has had problems recruiting staff and filing the gap in the parking enforcement budget in recent months.
Parking income remains below its target – with a budget gap expected to come in at about £1.4m.
The council has been working to take on more parking wardens – mainly agency staff – to tackle the problem.
The cabinet member in charge of enforcement, Jackie Smith said: “We are not apologetic for our use of agency staff. We need to see how many we need to get maximum coverage – people all over the place are saying they’re not happy with the level of enforcement – not that we are doing too much, that we are not doing enough.
“When I started in this portfolio we were allowed 23-and-a-half and we only had 14 in post. We are now at 32 with agency workers. We are gradually filling permanent vacancies. In the meantime no action is not an option.”
A petition has already been handed in by bus drivers in Plumstead complaining that nuisance parkers are causing issues along the high street.
A cabinet meeting was told last night that efforts are starting to pay off, with the council handing out a record number of tickets.
Some 1,300 tickets were handed out across the borough last week – reinforcing “the council’s commitment to dealing with the problem”, according to leader Danny Thorpe.
Thorpe said the current set of finances was the most challenging the council has faced. He said: “The budget monitor shows the sustained financial pressure this council is operating.
“I would stress we are clearly at the end of the line at our ability to absorb and deal with these pressures on a regular basis and remedial action is being taken forward.”
Video of the cabinet meeting by Darryl Chamberlain.
Tom Bull is the Local Democracy Reporter for Greenwich. The Local Democracy Reporter Service is a BBC-funded initiative to ensure councils are covered properly in local media.
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