AN EXTRA warden to patrol the residents’ parking zones in Ellesmere Port is being sought.
The additional member of staff would cost the borough council £15,840 a year, said a report.
Derek Chaplin, head of financial units at the council, explained: “A consultation exercise was carried out with residents of the town centre.
“After analysing the results, it was clear residents were satisfied with the parking zone scheme, and wanted us to make it permanent.
‘‘Although the return rate of the consultation was disappointing, 61% asked for more frequent patrols and an increase in them during the evenings and at weekends.
“An additional patrol officer was employed early in 2007 to cover the parking zones, and occasional evening patrols are carried out in an attempt to alleviate some of the problems.
“The zones cover a large area and it requires two officers, for health and safety reasons, to carry out the enforcement.
“We must ensure we maintain a high standard of patrols in the car parks to prevent any abuse of the pay and display system.
“This is very difficult to achieve with the current allocation of four patrol officers.”
Meanwhile, the council will have to spend £3,500 repairing the street signs relating to the residents’ parking scheme around the town centre.
Mr Chapman said: “Several signs have been damaged due to vandalism. Some have been removed from the area and need replacing.
“There is a legal requirement to maintain the level of signage in the zone to inform residents of the restrictions and enable us to enforcer the restrictions.”
The £3,500 cost for the next financial year rises to £4,000 in 2009/10 and to £4,500 in 2010/11.
And £5,000 will be needed each year for the printing of scratch-card permits, permit paper and wallets, and other miscellaneous stationery in order to renew the residents’ permits annually.