Cork County Council has paid a private operator more than €1.7m over five years to a private operator for parking enforcement in a single town.
The level of expenditure has led to a call by one local TD for the operation to be taken back into Council control.
Cork East Labour TD Sean Sherlock received figures under the Freedom of Information Act that show the amount paid to private operator APCOA for parking enforcement in Mallow has topped €1.7m since 2014.
“Figures released to me for August and September show that over €22,000 was spent on parking operations in Mallow Town alone,” Mr Sherlock said.
“So far for 2019, over €92,358 has been spent and we don’t have figures for October, November or December yet.
“The people of Mallow have had enough and want to see public parking administered by the public authority not a private entity,” he said.
Mr Sherlock raised the same issue last year, when he received figures that showed psid €2,074,833.67 to APCOA for parking services in Mallow and Douglas for 2014-2018.
The Council last year responded to the criticism by pointing to complaints from local businesses and members of the public over illegal parking and lack of availability of parking spaces prior to the awarding of the contract for Mallow.
“Cork County Council advertised positions for wardens on a number of occasions internally as the Council was not in a position to recruit staff and no applications were received,” the council said at the time.
“Warden cover is only a small part and cost of the service provided. People can view photos and pay their fines online, by phone.
"Appeals are managed as is a customer call centre together with collection and receipting of monies, issuing reminders, issuing court proceedings, serving summons, prosecuting in court and Managing/supervising all of same etc.” it said.