Sunderland EchoFriday, October 13, 2006Ethnic Anglos
Let me say first of all that I do not wish to be associated in any way with racial comments alleged to have been made by NCP parking attendants in Sunderland.
I do, however, find it a bit rich to read that Mr Khan, a Sunderland businessman, criticises, "... the wider ignorance of the NCP parking attendants, as the majority of the ethnic community in Sunderland has a Bangladeshi background."
If Mr Khan has a look around the city in which he lives, he will see that the overwhelming ethnic community is Anglo-Saxon!Michael HaffertyCuthbertson CourtSunderlandNo respect for us
After watching the BBC probe into the city's parking it simply confirms my entire neighbourhood's suspicions and experience.
The parking attendants and the council have no respect or consideration for any residents that live in the nearby areas of the Stadium of Light.
It's an absolute joke at the state of traffic on match days. Cars are parked on grass verges, on pavements, basically anywhere there is a space to fit a car. We, the residents, have to arrange our lives around the football season simply because of the lack of spaces provided by the council and the ridiculous parking system they have put into place around the surrounding areas.
A lot of residents cannot park their vehicles at either the front or rear of their own homes for two days of the week throughout the year! This means we have to plan our lives around this, and for what reason?M GrahamSunderlandBadly let down
After viewing the BBC programme Inside-Out, is it fair to conclude that to obtain a post as a parking attendant in Sunderland it is important that you have a vocabulary of no more than twelve words, half of which must be obscenities?
Further to that, your expensive state school education must have left you so ignorant that you know littleor nothing about anything. Armed with those high standards you are now qualified to stalk the streets of Sunderland, mocking the disabled and deriding those who are obviously superior in intellect but judged by you to be inferior because their skin is of a different colour.
To those charged with the duty of employing parking attendants, I would say that the people of Sunderland have been badly let down.Ron MetcalfeEast HerringtonSunderlandFriday, October 20, 2006Parking battle
I write with regard to the BBC Inside Out programme in which my name and image was used as part of the programme.
I had nothing to do with the criticism of NCP employees, although I was shocked at some of the revelations.
About two months ago I was approached by the BBC for an interview in connection with my long-running dispute with Sunderland Parking Services which began on May 4, 2005, when I found a penalty charge notice on returning to my car after visiting The Galleries health centre.
I had displayed my invalidity card but forgotten to display the clock card showing my time of arrival. I appealed on the grounds of my age and ill health at the time but was turned down flat. Not wishing to face the possibility of paying a £60 fine I paid the discounted fine of £30 under protest and informed parking services I would carry on pressing for refund of my fine.
My chance came in February 2006 when the press published an article which said Sunderland Parking Services had been told by the National Car Adjudication Service that their penalty charge notices could be appealed against as they did not comply with traffic regulations, i.e., they did not show a date of issue. The PCN in my possession did not show this information but despite various correspondence the council would not budge.
I went to the Ombudsman about six months ago for help and I have recently been told because of a judicial decision taken in Barnet the Ombudsman has taken legal advice on how this would affect my complaint. The Ombudsman has contacted Sunderland to suggest that they reconsider their response to my complaint in the light of the judicial review findings. I am now awaiting their advice.
The BBC has aplogised to me for the shortness of my exposure and my reasons, which was due in part to editing problems. If they decide to do an expose on Sunderland Parking Services in the near future I shall be first in the queue, well after Neil Herron anyway. This gentleman has fought an almost lone battle for some years now against the bureaucracy and incompetence of Sunderland Parking Services and I wish him all the best.Eric Brittain
St George EstateHarratonWashingtonOur BBC report was fair and accurate
We, like your readers, have followed with interest the response to the BBC Inside Out expose of the racist and prejudiced approach demonstrated by some parking attendants working for NCP in the city.
I'm more than happy to let the programme speak for itself - and our viewers and your readers will no doubt draw their own conclusions about the behaviour and culture filmed by our undercover reporter.
However, I am keen to rebut suggestions made by NCP representatives and reported in the Echo that the programme was inaccurate, unbalanced or unfairly edited.
The programme was made with enormous care and careful judgment - following our own demanding guidelines for journalists and was rigorously examined before transmission.
Undercover reposrting allows us to expose behaviour that we would otherwise be unable to witness. I'm confident that this programme was a fair representation of the approach and techniques of some NCP staff, witnessed by our reporter and highlighted an issue of serious public concern.Jacqui HodgsonEditorFactual ProgrammesBBC North East and CumbriaHand it to police
I believe car parking enforcement should be taken over by the Sunderland Council or hand it back to the police.
The millions of pounds collected could be put to better use in the Wearside area rather than heading South to swell coffers of the NCP organisation.
The ruthless money grabbing action of the NCp have done a great dis-service to many small businesses in Sunderland. It's time for the NCP to go.SouthwickIt's a shambles
I agree wholeheartedly with Mr Herron about the complete shambles of the present "Parking Enforcement" arrangements in Sunderland.
I personally had a battle with Sunderland Council Parking Department over a dubious parking ticket. I appealed direct to the Parking Department who turned my appeal down. I was forced to take my appeal to the National Appeals procedure.
During my appeal period I continued to get letters from the head of the council's Parking Dept. threatening me with bailiffs. Despite this pressure, which I protested about, I proceeded and won my appeal conclusively.
I had considerable corrspondence with the Parking Department and the manager there did admit that National Car Parks did operate an "Argos points incentive scheme", emphasising it was not to award the number of parking tickets issued. In view of the recent BBC Inside Out programme how could anyone believe that statement?
I abhor the racist comments and the cracking of jokes about the disabled by the parking attendants contained in the programme. No doubt the blame game and looking for a scapegoat will now begin.
None of these involved is free from blame, this includes NCP management, Sunderland Council and the management at the council's parking Parking Department. I along with many others totally disagree with a private company being responsible for applying UK parking laws. It is obviously a mistake, an opt-out of responsibility by the council.
Parking enforcement should be brought back under direct council (in-house). No other solution will be acceptable to the community.F ConnollyStewart Street EastSeahamWe deserve better
When can the people of Sunderland expect the ruling Group within the City Council to be more accountable for the failures that have been highlighted in the city over the past weeks?
We had the embarrassment of Sunderland being highlighted in a BBC TV documentary about the behaviour and attitudes of NCP parking attendants working in our city streets.
Motorists in Sunderland have complained over the past two years about parking issues. It would appear that these complaints fell on deaf ears!!
The Queen Alexandra bridge reopened on October 12. Indeed the Leader of the Council, with other officials, appears in the local press celebrating this momentous occasion - not so much the momentous opening itself but the played down facts, namely that the work was almost £2million over budget and six months late.
As an independent City Councillor for the Doxford Ward I wholeheartedly support the demands from the Tory Group on these issues.
Sunderland is a great city but the voters deserve better from those in control.Councillor George BlythSunderlandClear-out NCP yobs
A feral gang has taken control of the streets of Sunderland. They seem to be above the law but are cowardly when confronted about their actions.
Who are these people? Our parking attendants! What a bunch of louts they seemed.
All you seem to need to be a parking attendant in Sunderland is no common sense, a fag hanging from your mouth and bigoted attitude.
How they laughed at the racist banter! Such fun as they persecuted white van man in the small business owner!
I only hope I don't get my tyres slashed for writing this, as boasted by one of them who had been complained about before.
The shocking BBC documentary on Inside Out about parking enforcement in Sunderland left us with many questions but the most important one is this. Do we really need to be in business with these people at all?
Sunderland Council must clear these yobs off our streets. No need for an Asbo, just end the contract with NCP today.Michael EastWoodland DriveSunderland