Council’s parking permit renewals process still beset with problems

Hundreds of people trying to renew their residents’ parking permits in Brighton and Hove are having to apply for a new permit from scratch – a more cumbersome process requiring proof of address.

Brighton and Hove City Council has sent out renewal letters telling people to apply for new permits through its website.

But when drivers try, many are receiving an error message because their details are not on the database of existing permit holders. Not all the details on an old database have transferred to the council’s new computer system for parking services.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted council chief executive Geoff Raw after repeatedly receiving an error message which said: “An error occurred. Please contact your system administrator.”

Mr Raw said that the transfer of the whole database to the new system would be completed in June, a year after it started to be phased in for “light-touch” parking zones.

For the past year, councillors’ have received hundreds of emails from residents complaining about problems renewing parking permits or delays in receiving them.

Issues followed the introduction of a “future-proof” system provided by a company called Ubisecure although the council said previously that it was responsible for the problems – not Ubisecure.

The new system came with a promise of “easy access”, “reduced IT support time and costs” and a “streamlined user experience”.

Ubisecure promised “improved user satisfaction as residents also save time by managing their own account” which also covers council tax, rubbish and recycling and applications for school places.

Last September, Conservative councillor Robert Nemeth raised the issue at a meeting of the council’s Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee.

He said at the time that he had received several complaints after the council started moving parking permits over to the “My Account” system.

He said that he had lost count of the number of people who had contacted him, unable to renew their permits, and estimated that the city-wide figure ran into thousands.

Green councillor Amy Heley, who chairs the committee, said that the council had trebled the number of staff working to help people over the phone.

Residents have been told that they would need to apply for a new permit – rather than to renew a permit – as a workaround.

But new parking permit applications require a confirmation of address issued within the past three months such as a utility bill and car insurance confirmation.

The delays have led to the council employing a courier company to deliver visitors’ parking permits to ensure that they reach residents.

The council was asked for further comment on the problems affecting the issue of parking permits.

  1. Hove Guy Reply

    Another week, another load of chaos from this council. Will they ever get something right? And if only they had not been so utterly lazy and gone back to work, like the rest of the population, this could have been sorted out easily at Hove Town Hall. But no, greed, incompetence and complacency are the name of the game, when it comes to the Greens (with a lot of help from Labour). I do hope voters in other constituencies, with Green delegates, will take note of the way this council has treated its ratepayers like dirt, when election time comes around.

  2. Sd Reply

    We can make it easy for you; just give a parking permit to every council tax payer who wants one, so they can park where they want to in the city.

  3. Mick Reply

    Couriers are ‘spensive! Brighton ratepayers must be loaded if they let you get away with that!

  4. Junia Reply

    Imagine having a car in Brighton & Hove… horrible thought.

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