Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Council wants power to clamp down on illegal parking

SONNING Common Parish Council wants the power to issue fines for illegal parking.

Carole Lewis, who chairs the council, says it should be able to employ parking wardens because police are too busy to tackle the problem.

She said drivers frequently parked on double yellow lines outside the Co-op Food store in Wood Lane, making it hard for buses and other large vehicles to pass. Offenders knew they weren’t likely to be caught because police community support officers patrolled so infrequently.

Councillor Lewis said: “It is causing traffic chaos. We have a little village centre and, of course, we need deliveries. These lorries have to park somewhere.

“People know there’s nobody to police this. I would like to see some localised enforcement powers.

“I think the police would do more if they could but they are being stretched in so many ways. I want to put the appointment of wardens on the agenda — someone with localised powers that can act on the parish council’s behalf.

“We can’t expect the police to do everything. They have a job to do and have to prioritise their tasks.”

She said the car park off Wood Lane was often full because of the number of activities taking place at the village hall.

“We’re almost a victim of our own success,” said Cllr Lewis. “We are a thriving village that has loads of things going on.” Fellow parish councillor John Stoves said he supported switching enforcement powers from the police to South Oxfordshire District Council, an idea which is currently being explored.

He said: “We need specific wardens, which applies to a lot of other places as well.

“People park outside the Co-op for five minutes and think, ‘I will take my chance.’

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