Crime and Disorder Select Committee Minutes

Thursday, 24th October, 2019
Jim Cooke Suite, Stockton Central Library, Stockton on Tees TS18 1TU
Please note: all Minutes are subject to approval at the next Meeting

Attendance Details

Cllr Pauline Beall (Chair), Cllr Paul Weston (Vice-Chair), Cllr Kevin Faulks, Cllr Clare Gamble, Cllr Barbara Inman, Cllr Stephen Richardson, Cllr Tony Riordan, Cllr Andrew Sherris, Cllr Mrs Sylvia Walmsley
Marc Stephenson (CP), Joanne Roberts (TS), Judy Trainer, Gary Woods, Marianne Sleeman (MD)
In Attendance:
Cllr Julia Cherrett, Cllr David Minchella, Ian Brown (Chair of Governors - Whitehouse Primary School), 4 Residents
Apologies for absence:
Mrs S Randle (Headteacher, Whitehouse Primary School)
Item Description Decision
AGREED That the minutes of the meeting held on 26th September 2019 be confirmed and signed as a correct record.

1. The impact of PSPO from Havering Council to be reported back to this Committee.

2. Chair of Governors would take back the discussion points of the meeting and write to parents on a termly basis expressing concerns around the parking issues and highlight that enforcement can be taken by the Local Authority.

3. Committee to consider the information received at its next meeting in November 2019 with a view to formulating draft recommendations where identified.
AGREED The decision to sign off the outstanding recommendation would be deferred to a future Committee meeting.

That the Crime & Disorder Select Committee Work Programme be noted.

4.30pm - 6.35pm


The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and the evacuation procedure was noted.
Cllr Beall declared a personal non-prejudicial interest as Mr Ian Brown, who was in attendance today to provide evidence in his capacity as Chair of Governors of Whitehouse Primary School, was also Managing Director of Onsite Limited which she currently sits on the Onsite Board of Directors.

Cllr Beall declared a personal non-prejudicial interest as she knew one resident who was a former Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council Officer.

Cllr Inman declared a personal non-prejudicial interest as she knew one resident who was a former work colleague.
Consideration was given to the minutes from the meeting held on the 26th September 2019.
Members received information regarding the Councillor Call for Action: Obstructive and Illegal Parking around Whitehouse Primary School from Councillor Cherrett, Councillor Minchella, Mr Ian Brown (Chair of Governors) and residents which included:

• Ward Councillors who submitted this CCfA confirmed that the focus of the request was solely Whitehouse Primary School.

• A Scrutiny Review of School Parking was undertaken in 2015/2016 and made a number of recommendations including a scheme which was developed following an ATS request that had since been implemented. Despite this work, little progress had been made in solving issues around school parking problems.

• A PSPO (Public Space Protection Order) was being used by Havering Council to address parking issues around some schools, and is due to be trialled at Gateshead Councils - the Local Authority were awaiting feedback on the results and impact from Havering.

• A Dunelm Road resident confirmed they had been a resident for 30 years and the problem had increased. A large percentage of children attending Whitehouse Primary School come from out of the area which means not many children can be walked to school. Parents can be very aggressive and there has been incidents of verbal abuse directed towards residents. Illegal parking is causing damage to pavements which in turn cause tripping hazards. Visits from Enforcement Officers were totally ignored.

• A Barlborough Avenue resident confirmed there was only one entrance to the estate which is mainly made up of bungalows with elderly residents. Cars park on the junction which was dangerous and parents ignore the TRO (Traffic Regulation Order), but could not ignore bollards. It was suggested that cameras could be a possible solution; money received from fines could be placed back into the monitoring of the cameras. Residents would welcome a speed restriction of 20 miles an hour.

• A Chingford Grove resident stated that parents were arriving earlier and leaving later, and there was a lot of parallel parking. Unless the Council enforce regularly and robustly problem parking would continue. It was suggested a ‘Parking Eye’ could be used to send out warnings to parents who overstay the allocated time.

• Positive enforcement was required with possible walk to school routes, what must not be allowed is the problem to be dispersed into other roads on the estate.

The main issues discussed were as follows:

• Had the measures carried out on Dunelm Road made a difference, if so, what?

• A discussion took place around one resident receiving a parking ticket. Parking tickets were not issued retrospectively but only if observed on site by Enforcement Officers. An element of discretion with Enforcement Officers was used to look at the complete picture of parking but when viewing school parking, safeguarding is the priority. Enforcement Officers do have to abide by a number of rules such as 5 minute observation when issuing parking tickets. Members were informed 21 parking tickets had been issued this year (2019) during 96 visits to Whitehouse Primary School.

• Members discussed the impact of implementing a PSPO - would moving the problem on be likely to happen? The extent of a PSPO would have to be determined but residents would like it to cover Barlborough Avenue, Dunelm Road and the 3 Closes off it. Exemption certificates would be issued for any blue badge holders.

• Compared to other schools, Whitehouse Primary School has a higher percentage of children with Special Educational Needs who use Community Transport to commute to and from school; it was confirmed buses did use the school car park for dropping off and picking the children up. School staff manage the flow in and out of the school premises.

• Whitehouse Primary School did introduce a parking pledge that parents were asked to sign but the school could not enforce this, it was acknowledged that children’s education cannot be penalised. The school continues to promote responsible behaviour from parents. It was noted that the school had placed a ‘Think before you park’ banner on the school fence in 2015 but it had to be removed following complaints from residents in another area which had seen problems being dispersed to their road (this was also deemed a planning issue).

• The Chair of Governors noted that the school does try to be proactive around parking, staff have suffered abuse when they have approached parents who have parked inappropriately. There were challenges for some vehicles coming into the school transporting children with SEN.

• Discussion took place regarding after-school clubs - should parents be allowed to come into the school grounds and collect their children; would that alleviate some of the problems? The Chair of Governors confirmed he would take the point back to school.

• It was acknowledged and that similar issues were being experienced in and around other schools regarding attitudes to parking.

Local Authority Officers confirmed:

• There had been no parking-related injuries reported in the last 3 years.

• There had been no issues reported around loud radios and noise pollution.

• Members were informed that a PSPO was normally used to tackle anti-social behaviour and restrict issues like littering and a breach of the PSPO would be a criminal offence with a fixed penalty fine attached.

• Camera enforcement would be resource intensive as the burden of proof beyond reasonable doubt would need to be evidenced.

• It was noted that PSPO’s do not come with yellow lines, signage would have to be in place to give motorists fair warning and an exercise of consultation and communication would have to be carried out.

• Concerns were raised that if a PSPO was placed at Whitehouse Primary School, would other schools request this; this would then become a huge funding issue. It was noted that only 5 Enforcement Officers were available to monitor school parking across the Borough at any one time.

Some Members of the Committee undertook 2 site visits to area around the school. The issues identified were as follows:

• Cars were parking on the zig zag lines.

• Sainsbury’s car park was observed in the afternoon as being relatively busy with not a lot of spare parking spaces albeit the Manager agreed for parents to park.

• Travel Plan meetings used to be valuable when everyone involved engaged.

• Whilst signage around the school was sufficient, there was limited resource for enforcement; parents who parked illegally / irresponsibly needed continued education around the dangers.
Consideration was given to the latest progress update in relation to the Scrutiny Review of School Parking from 2016.

A video made from school children around parking issues at schools from Cambridgeshire County Council was shown. Members endorsed the video and a potential Stockton version but deferred any recommendations to a future meeting.

Members agreed that this would be a powerful message which parents need to see, and encouraged this resource to be shared with schools across the Borough.
Consideration was given to the Crime & Disorder Select Committee Work Programme for 2019-2020.
The Chair thanked all involved for their contribution to the meeting.

Cllr Cherrett and Cllr Minchella thanked the Crime & Disorder Select Committee for the time given to this issue.

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