North Essex Parking Partnership (NEPP)

We often get asked who the NEPP are, what their role is and perhaps mostly – how much do the Enforcement Officers get paid in commission for hitting their targets in issuing tickets!

Well I hope to explain all of this in my latest blog post and do some ‘myth busting’ along the way.

First things first. The NEPP stands for the North Essex Parking Partnership. They are a Joint Committee of 7 local authorities that provides a partnership between Essex County Council and six district and borough councils – Braintree, Colchester, Epping, Harlow, Tendring, Uttlesford.

And yes before you ask, there is a South Essex Parking Partnership that covers the other areas of the county.

Why do the NEPP have such a strong link to Colchester Borough Council? We are actually the authority that manages the joint service and employs all the staff for the Partnership as well as providing its communications and marketing services. I hope you’re still with me. It is effectively a shared service managed and run by Colchester Borough Council although the Joint Committee of 7 authorities agree all the policies and policy changes.

At this point I think it is important to address the issue surrounding Enforcement Officers and commission. Quite simply our Enforcement Officers DO NOT work on commission nor do they have targets to hit – in fact what they do get… is grief!

Whether they issue 10 or 100 notices the officers get paid the same every month. The most important thing is that the notices and the charges are fair and valid.  We do not expect to get it wrong otherwise it is costly to us in both time and resources.

I’ve actually spent a day with a Civil Enforcement Officer that works for the NEPP and watched how they go about their work and interact with the public. Although this probably goes against most people’s perceptions they were very reasonable and genuine. Of course you say he would be because you were there. Oh come on. He knew his job, his role and how he should conduct himself.

The best way to understand the role of an Enforcement Officer is by looking at why we need to enforce in the first place? Well we need to keep traffic flowing, to ease congestion and to make it safe.

We have people contact the council to complain about how busy Colchester’s roads can be but believe me, it would be a lot worse if we didn’t have Enforcement Officers managing parking. However, some of these same people can be the first to complain should they get a ‘ticket’.

There are two types of enforcement – on and off-street parking. Off-street parking refers to the parking in council owned car parks while on-street parking refers to things like the yellow lines on roads, parking bays and permit areas.

Our Civil Enforcement Officers go through a stringent training programme so they know what constitutes an offence and yes as with anything I am sure we get it wrong; but very very occasionally. Most of the time we don’t!

You know the best way of not getting a ticket – don’t park where you are not meant to. And don’t park in our car parks without buying a ticket. And please don’t tell me about Civil Enforcement Officers hiding behind bushes or walls! It is a great story, but….Don’t park illegally – we won’t issue a ticket – you won’t get angry – we won’t need to read and try to understand some of the reasons for appealing your ticket. Although we would miss the last part of this sequence.

Please stay safe and legal we are trying to help law abiding motorists to do just that.

If you’re interested in understanding more about the day-to-day role of a Civil Enforcement Officer then I recommend reading and following a blog written by an officer in the NEPP – https://northessexparkingpartnership.wordpress.com/

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