THE DECISION by Cherwell District Council to pay for extra policing out of its own pocket will give the fight against illegal parking a much-needed shot in the arm, according to a senior officer.

Earlier this week it was announced Thames Valley Police will receive £60,000 from Cherwell District Council over two years to fight motorists parking illegally.

The money will pay for a police community support officer (PCSO) to work full-time on clamping down on illegal parking.

But the move is unlikely to be copied in Oxford, where Oxfordshire County Council says it will continue control on-street parking enforcement, having done so since February 1997.

Supt Mark John, local police area commander for Cherwell and West Oxfordshire LPA, said: “Parking enforcement continues to be the responsibility of police in Cherwell and we welcome the decision by the council to set aside funding for additional resources to tackle this.

“The council has taken on board concerns from local residents around illegal parking and its decision will have an immediate impact on the problem in the district."

He added: “This additional funding will allow the police to have dedicated time, on top of our current resources, to prioritise illegal and inconsiderate parking, and promote good driver behaviour. This is in addition to our normal neighbourhood policing activity across the Cherwell area.

“When breaches of parking restrictions occur, such as parking on double yellow lines, when vehicles are parked dangerously or causing an unnecessary obstruction, this will be investigated.”

When the move was confirmed early last week, Cherwell District Council deputy leader George Reynolds said: “The district council is charged with ensuring the quality of life for people in Cherwell and this will have an immediate impact.

“This fund will be a boost in resources for neighbourhood police sergeants all over the district to tackle problems in their areas as they see fit.”

Twenty years ago, the then Secretary of State for Transport Sir George Young gave the county council special powers to allow the decriminalisation of on-street parking.

It can enforce parking restrictions in controlled parking zones across the city, and enforces rules by employing a contractor, which is also responsible for enforcing bus gates within central Oxford, along with Thornhill and Oxford Parkway Park and Ride sites.

Oxford City Council's enforces off-street parking, including Oxpens and Worcester Street.