Councillors debate outsourcing parking contract

DISPUTES over car parking costs in Worthing have been rife in recent weeks, as NCP’s controversial parking contract draws to an end.

On Sunday, the latest online debate saw two key figures in the town air contrasting views on social networking site Facebook.

Worthing Borough Council leader Paul Yallop lambasted NCP’s management of the town’s car parks as a ‘disaster’, in response to a comment made by Bob Smytherman, one of Worthing’s county councillors and vice-chairman of the Worthing County Local Committee.

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Councillor Yallop said: “We have seen outsourcing as being a disaster so to consider it again would be very difficult. When you look at other West Sussex towns running successful services in-house, it’s far too important to the economy to let a private company get a hold on it.

“Chichester District Council makes a £2.9million surplus with maximum charges of £1.20 an hour,” 
he said.

“Horsham District Council makes a £1.4million surplus with £1.20 per hour maximum charges.

“Meanwhile, here in Worthing, the largest town in West Sussex, where charges have been up to £1.70 an hour, the surplus has been around £850,000.”

Cllr Smytherman said: “It would be grossly irresponsible for anyone to rule out working with NCP in the future. We got in a ten-year contract that was very good for the tax payers of the town who faced a £4million bill. The car parks were falling to bits. NCP provided for ten years what I think has been quite a reasonable service.”