Hackney Council has denied accusations by the Daily Mail that it is handing out parking penalties to innocent drivers in order to make profit.
After being featured in this week’s BBC Inside Out programme, Hackney has become one of nine boroughs to come under scrutiny for their ticketing practices. They face accusations of offering contractual incentives to traffic wardens who hit parking fines targets – a banned procedure for all councils.
The Daily Mail claims Hackney Council made a profit of £7.9 million last year through the ticketing.
However, Feryal Demirci, Councillor for Neighbourhoods, declared the surplus was only £4.9 million and was used to help reduce the costs of public transport for the elderly and disabled. The council has added another £6.3 million pounds funding for this project.
Hackney Council called the procedures ‘entirely appropriate’ because the traffic warden’s contracts include numerical benchmarks not related to performance, as advised by central government. However, Hackney Council has since removed any contract clause relating to parking penalty targets.
Councillor Demirci also said that three quarters of appeals against parking fines have been won by the Council, which is higher that the London average of 52%. She added: ‘Our officers are getting it right.’
In the BBC programme, the Minister for Local Government Brandon Lewis said that the legality of matter would be investigated.
*Updated to amend other council names mentioned in the article. 29/01/2014 16:55.