Clampers given an extra three months

The car park at Market Road in Cosham where wheel clampers have been operating

The car park at Market Road in Cosham where wheel clampers have been operating

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CONTROVERSIAL wheel clampers will not be given the boot from Cosham for at least another three months, The News can reveal.

City Watch Enforcement, which patrols car parks behind High Street, was due to be kicked out by Portsmouth City Council next month following a series of complaints by motorists and businesses.

But it is understood the land’s managing agent, Lee Baron, has still not served the clampers with a three-month notice period. There is also a delay in the council taking over the clampers’ parking duties because it hasn’t finalised a contract with Lee Baron.

The council is looking to set up a deal where it takes a 25 per cent cut of parking fees and gets to keep any fines.

This week, Michael Robinson, parking operations manager at the council, held talks with officials from Lee Baron in an attempt to speed things up.

But it means the clampers will remain until at least August.

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt, who has been campaigning to get rid of City Watch, said: ‘For the amount of suffering and concern the clampers have caused you would think that Lee Baron and the council would have been more on the ball.

‘It’s extremely frustrating. Now that the clampers aren’t going anywhere until at least August we’ve got another summer of discontent in Cosham coming our way. This news is going to be dreadful for the local area.’

As previously reported in The News, the council wasn’t able to terminate the clamping firm’s contract early because it couldn’t prove that its staff had acted unlawfully.

An investigation by The Security Industry Authority – which has the power to revoke an individual clamper’s licence – concluded that staff had acted within the law.

Wheel clamping will be made illegal under The Protection of Freedoms Act 2012 by the end of the year. The act has received royal assent and a date for when it is made statute will be announced in the near future.

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