Issue - meetings
Virtual Permit Management in Maidstone
The Service Analyst introduced the report and stated that the current computer system being used to operate the parking permit system was no longer supported by the supplier, leading the Council to upgrade the system in place. A virtual permit system was the preferred option which would replace the paper permits in use. Residents would have to apply online for a permit, which would reduce the application timescale by around 2-3 days, reduce emissions from postage and provide the foundations to consider emissions-based charging in the future.
It was highlighted that visitor permits were often misused; through use on a third vehicle or having been sold to local businesses and commuters, particularly in Maidstone Town Centre. Through a virtual permit system, visitor permits could be activated through a token system and registered to a vehicle to prevent misuse. A Member workshop would take place, with a representative from each political party alongside the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee, to assess the best options for visitor permits moving forward. The findings would then be presented to the Committee before a procurement exercise was undertaken.
In response to questions, the Service Analyst confirmed that the existing paper-based system required an online application to be completed, but that residents could telephone the Council if assistance was needed. Parking Services would seek to maintain the access options currently in place for residents when an alternative system was implemented. A full Equality Impact Assessment would be completed as part of the procurement process.
Group leaders would be consulted for nominations to the Member Focus Group.
1. The existing paper-based resident parking scheme be updated with a virtual resident permit scheme;
2. Members nominate a representative from each Political Party along with the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Committee to attend a Member Focus Group hosted by Parking Services officers addressing the issue of Visitor Permit Misuse; and
3. Following the Member focus group recommendations, a report be presented to the Committee specifically relating to the management of Visitor Permits in Maidstone.