CITY leaders have failed in their bid to get rid of a controversial clamping firm before its contract expires.
City Watch Enforcement will continue to impose parking restrictions in car parks behind High Street, Cosham until its contract with the land’s managing agent Lee Baron Limited runs out at the beginning of June.
It comes after Portsmouth City Council officials failed to prove that the clampers have acted unlawfully since they arrived.
Councillor Jason Fazackarley, who is in cha rge of traffic and transport at the council, said: ‘There is nothing we can do. We were unable to prove that City Watch acted unlawfully in its practices.
‘When the car parks were handed over at the beginning of the lease agreement, clamping companies didn’t exist, so there was nothing in the terms and conditions about them and their practices.’
The city council-owned car parks were handed over to private property firm Lionsgate Properties in a 99-year lease deal, and in 1984 Lee Baron began to manage the land on behalf of the firm.
The council was hoping to take over by the end of April.
Cllr Fazackarley added: ‘It’s frustrating, but now we are confident about taking over at the beginning of June and restoring faith in Cosham.’