Eight local authorities from across England and Wales will be competing for the top honours in the PATROL Parking Annual Reports by Councils Awards, or PARC Awards. The competition recognises the important role annual reports play in promoting public understanding of civil parking enforcement and how they support the wider traffic management objectives of keeping traffic moving.
The awards are run by PATROL, which stands for Parking and Traffic Regulation Outside London, which is a joint committee of over 300 local authorities in England outside the capital (which has its own arrangements), and Wales. PATROL’s main role is to provide for independent adjudication, which it does through the Traffic Penalty Tribunal.
In spite of the impact of the COVID-19 emergency, the competition has proven popular. PATROL reports that there were a significant number of high-quality submissions for this year’s event. Louise Hutchinson, director of PATROL, said: “Despite the challenging times, a shortlist of 2018-19 Annual Reports for this year’s PATROL Parking Annual Reports by Councils (PARC) Awards has now been selected.
“While the ongoing COVID-19 situation has, unfortunately, meant that changes have had to be made to the running and format of the PARC Awards this year, including the cancellation of the reception at the House of Commons, we were keen to keep up the momentum and encourage traffic teams to prepare their 2019-20 reports.”
The review group
The entries were assessed by an independent review group, which comprised representatives from the local authority, motoring, consultancy and design worlds.
Brighton & Hove City Council has achieved considerable success in the PARC Awards in the past. This year, Paul Nicholls, the city’s parking strategy and contracts manager, has agreed to chair the independent PATROL PARC Review Group.
The group comprises Jo Abbott, communications manager, RAC Foundation (retired), transport consultant David Leibling and freelance designer Lizzie Unwin.
They met virtually to review the reports last month and the shortlist of eight 2018-19 Annual Reports were selected in consideration for an award.
The PARC Awards shortlist
Recognising the best
PATROL is liaising with the shortlisted authorities regarding further information about plans set in the reports. Despite the lack of a live reception PATROL plans to recognise the shortlisted authorities for their contribution this year. “PATROL will be inviting all those shortlisted this year to the 2021 reception at the House of Commons, where both sets of winners will be presented with their awards. Huw Merriman, MP for Bexhill and Battle, and chair of the House of Commons’ Transport Committee, has once again kindly agreed to host the event next summer,” said Hutchinson.
“I would like to recognise all authorities that have produced 2018-19 annual reports. While not every report can be shortlisted, they are all so important in continuing to explain to and engage with the public and external stakeholders on the purpose and importance of parking and traffic management, locally, in creating better communities in which to live and work.”
The PARC Awards have a practical dimension, in that the review group’s analysis of the entrants is used to update PATROL’s Annual Report Toolkit, a guide designed to help local authorities communicate with the public and stakeholders via a range of channels – print, social media and online.
Louise Hutchinson said: “Each year, PATROL reviews its toolkit to support local authorities in the production of their annual reports, and this year we are grateful to the PARC Review Group for their contribution to developing these resources.
“As parking and traffic managers start to think about reporting on their challenges and achievements in 2019-20, it will be impossible not to reflect the seismic changes that COVID-19 has heralded. Effective traffic management keeps communities on the move but, in turn, has to anticipate and respond to ever-changing mobility challenges and solutions.”
The PATROL Annual Report Toolkit is available at: www.patrol-uk.info
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