City Council should get rid of private parking enforcement in Douglas, Cllr says

A Council report has estimated that €14,000 in annual savings could be achieved by the measures.

City Council should get rid of private parking enforcement in Douglas, Cllr says

Cork City Council should follow their county counterparts in getting rid of private parking enforcement, according to one local representative who has found that the two local authorities have paid more than €90,000 so far this year for the service in Douglas.

Last week it was announced that Cork County Council will not renew the contract it had with private operator, APCOA, to enforce parking in Mallow, and that the local authority will hire its own traffic wardens and carry out the associated administration internally.

A Council report has estimated that €14,000 in annual savings could be achieved by the measures.

The move followed local campaigning by Labour Party on the matter, and a number of Freedom of Information requests on the fees paid to APCOA for the service.

This newspaper recently revealed that the outcome of one of these requests showed that APCOA earned €1.7m from the council contract since 2014.

The arrangement between Cork County Council and APCOA had also covered Douglas. However, the suburb has since come under the control of Cork City Council since the boundary change on May 31 last.

Now the City Council has been urged by Labour representative, Peter Horgan, to take parking in Douglas in-house.

“Cork City must follow the lead of my Labour Party colleagues in the County, Cllr James Kennedy and Deputy Seán Sherlock who have spearheaded the restoration of parking services to Council controlled employees, not a private outsourced firm," said Mr Horgan.

Mr Horgan said FOI requests have shown that €92,528.19 has been paid out by Cork City and County Councils for parking in Douglas so far in 2019 to December.

“Previous figures show that over €1m has been paid to APCOA from the public purse for Douglas alone since 2014. With the payments continuing in the handover to City Council, Douglas needs to retain such payments for its own investment," Mr Horgan said.

The next time that Council says they cannot improve public realm for road repairs in Douglas, one needs only to point to the million-plus euro squandered in Douglas since 2014.

"I very much hope the new Councillors for the Douglas ward will see sense in the New Year and not allow APCOA operate public land in the city,” Mr Horgan said.

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