Parking enforcement officers in Hackney are set to be brought back in-house by the inner London borough. Some 120 civil enforcement officers working for contractor APCOA Parking UK will become council employees early next year.
Hackney Council said the move is part of a drive to support the local economy and improve services for the local taxpayers.
The council has also made a commitment to pay a London Living Wage to all staff, as well as encouraging the borough’s businesses to do the same.
Following a decision by the council’s cabinet procurement committee, a consultation with staff and trade unions is set to begin in February next year.
Under employment regulations, the parking officers’ existing employment rights are protected after transferring to the council. A comprehensive review of staffing will be undertaken once parking enforcement services are brought in-house. All existing job posts, which are paid no less than the London Living Wage, would also be protected under the plans.
Cllr Jon Burke, Hackney Council cabinet member for energy, waste, transport and public realm, said: “Building on Hackney Council’s reputation for bringing services under full public ownership and control, we committed in our 2018 manifesto to reviewing all outsourced services with a view to bringing them in-house.
“I’m delighted to be overseeing the insourcing of parking enforcement, – which plays a crucial role in ensuring adequate parking for local residents and safeguarding our borough from excess traffic and pollution – as the next step in our journey to ensure greater public ownership and control of local government services. By bringing parking enforcement in-house, officers – who often live locally – can look forward to increased opportunities for progression, which will help tackle inequality and support the local economy. We will be consulting with staff and trade unions on the changes from February next year.”
The ‘insourcing’ of council services wherever possible has been a key strand of Hackney Council’s work to deliver services that represent value for money for local taxpayers and rebuild the local economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The council has already insourced waste management, some school cleaning contracts and IT services.
An APCOA spokesperson told Parking Review: “Hackney Council’s decision to insource car parking services supports its manifesto to review all outsourced services with a view to bringing them in-house. It has already insourced some parking services and APCOA views this as the final stage in that process.
“APCOA would like to thank Hackney Council and the trade union, Unite, for their support throughout the successful 16 year partnership, and will work together to ensure a smooth transition on 31 March 2022."
The trade union Unite, has run a long-running campaign to bring the parking officers back under council control. Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “This is tremendous news. Unite has campaigned, lobbied and taken strike action to win exactly the points now agreed by Hackney Council. It has been a tough campaign, but it has resulted in a great win that should send a clear message to other councils in London that the days of the flawed outsourcing business model are numbered. We have highlighted who really owns APCOA and the large profits they make.
“We have said that ‘in-house’ is better value for money for the hard-pressed council taxpayer. Hackney Council is now signposting the way forward. It is time for other authorities to do the same. Bringing these services back in-house is cheaper, better and fairer. We have had to fight hard for better pay and conditions for the civil enforcement officers, including sick pay, which is a huge issue for those out working in all weathers during the pandemic.
“Our convenor and the Unite members deserve huge credit for patiently, but determinedly continuing the fight until victory was achieved.”
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