Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has questioned Government Minister, Rishi Sunak MP, on the progress of the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which will introduce a code of practice for the operation and management of private parking facilities.

This Bill will address the parking scams, such as those seen locally in Clacton, and the code of practice will contain guidance to promote good practice in the operation and management of all private car parks, along with guidance for consumers about appeals against parking charges imposed in relation to the use of these facilities. The Bill also provides for a levy on the parking industry to cover the costs of issuing, administering, and investigating whether persons have failed to act in accordance with the code of practice.

The Bill is currently making its way through the House of Lords and has cross-party support, but it has taken the best part of two years to reach this point. Giles recognises the importance of this piece of legislation to residents and wants it to become law as soon as possible. That is why he has supported this Bill at every stage during its progress through the House.

At MHCLG Questions on 28th January, Giles asked the Minister:

“I was pleased to support and sit on the Committee for the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, which my right hon. Friend the Member for East Yorkshire so expertly steered through Parliament, but parking scams have been operating in Clacton for many years and it is literally driving my constituents around the bend; they want a solution. When this Bill completes its journey and receives Royal Assent, how quickly can it be implemented?”

The Minister replied:

“I thank my hon. Friend for his work on the Committee and for highlighting his constituents’ problems. I am pleased to tell him that I have already placed a draft outline of the code in the House of Commons Library and as soon as Royal Assent is achieved a full code will be issued for formal statutory consultation.”

Following the question session, Giles said:

“This Bill will deal directly with the rogue operators, like those at Ravensdale Car Park, who have previously run parking scams in our area, and this will have real benefit for local residents, along with those who visit our Sunshine Coast. Unfortunately, it is taking far too long for this change to pass through the House – as is, often, the nature of these things! I am, however, pleased to hear from the Minister that the provisions of the Bill can be implemented quickly, and I hope that we will see a swift resolution of its final stages in Parliament before it receives Royal Assent.”

Watch the question here.

Read the full question session here.