1.1 Operational guidance published by the Department for Transport requires thatauthorities with Civil Parking Enforcement powers produce an annual reportabout their enforcement activities. This should cover financial, statistical andperformance target information.1.2 The reason that a report is prepared and made publicly available is to showaccountability and transparency to the public, thereby improving theirunderstanding and acceptance of such enforcement. This report for 2008/09 isthe first of its kind to be published by the Council and will be repeated in futureyears.
2.1 The Road Traffic Act 1991 introduced powers for local authorities to enforce on-street parking and waiting restrictions under the term Decriminalised ParkingEnforcement. The Traffic Management Act 2004 extended these powers toinclude the enforcement of other restrictions, which are now known as CivilParking Enforcement. This transfers responsibility for enforcement of non-endorsable parking contraventions from the police to the local authority. Parkingoffences are classified as civil offences rather than criminal offences under civilparking enforcement. This means that rather than the police providingenforcement through traffic wardens, civil enforcement officers are directlyemployed by the local authority to enforce traffic offences.2.2 The advantages of civil parking enforcement are that it allows the police to focuson their main priorities of tackling crime and disorder and allows the highwayauthority to shape its civil parking enforcement to meet wider transport strategiesand objectives. A good civil parking enforcement regime is one that uses qualitybased standards that the public understands and which are enforced fairly,accurately and expeditiously. Enforcement authorities should aim to increasecompliance with parking restrictions through clear, well designed, legal andenforced parking controls. Civil parking enforcement provides a means by whichan authority can effectively deliver wider transport strategies and objectives.2.3 At the present time the only area within Suffolk where civil parking enforcement isundertaken is within Ipswich. This was introduced on 1 October 2005 and hasbeen monitored with a view to considering how it could be spread out furtherwithin Suffolk. The current view is that the enforcement in Ipswich has beensuccessful and that, in principle, the County Council would want to see itintroduced throughout Suffolk. A feasibility study has been undertaken toconsider the implication of doing this. However, this cannot be taken forward indetail until the results of the Local Government Review are clear. Futuredifferent authorities may take a different view on when and how to proceed.2.4 Civil parking enforcement is undertaken in Ipswich by the Borough Council actingas agents to the Highway Authority, Suffolk County Council, for on-streetactivities. Ipswich Borough Council has an Integrated Parking Service whichmanages the enforcement of both on-street and off-street activities whichrepresents the most cost effective approach overall. To give a complete picture