NEW parking wardens could be roaming the streets in parts of Oxfordshire from as early as next year.

Towns including Abingdon, Didcot, Bicester and Wallingford have had their streets plagued by cars carelessly dumped in awkward spots for years.

This is why Vale of White Horse District Councils’ Cabinet, the most senior councillors, has now agreed to move forward with a proposal for Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE).

The move will see parking enforcement powers transfer from local police to a new team by the end of 2021.

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The scheme, which is set to make enforcement of parking restrictions easier, will cost the Vale taxpayer up to £60,000.

Oxfordshire County Council, which will be managing the enforcement team, will take on the brink of the funding.

However, senior councillors believe that – in time – it will become 'self-funding'.

Vale of White Horse District Council is currently one of just a dozen districts across England that do not have CPE, along with South Oxfordshire and Cherwell.

Enforcement for on-street parking in the Vale is currently carried out by the police.

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However, councillors believe this can put unnecessary extra pressure on the force and leave parking problems unresolved as officers focus on more serious crimes.

For that reason, the three local authorities have been working with Oxfordshire County Council to investigate how to implement CPE arrangements.

Under the scheme the council has applied for, new traffic wardens would be able to fine residents for disobeying waiting and loading restrictions, as well as for parking on dropped kerbs or double yellow lines.

Councillor Neil Fawcett, who spoke in favour of the scheme at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, said: "I know road users and pedestrians will welcome the changes to the way in which parking enforcement is carried out with the introduction of this new system.

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"Our proposal for CPE follows significant work with the other councils and so I am very pleased that we have now all agreed to move forward and jointly apply to become a CPE area."

Following approval by the three cabinets, the proposals will now move forward and the district councils will ask Oxfordshire County Council to submit a joint CPE application to the Government for approval.

If the application is then approved, a new team managed by the county authority would be launched to enforce on-street parking rules.

It is hoped that CPE could be introduced in the Vale by the end of 2021 but enforcement for off-street car parks in the district will continue to be managed by contractor Saba.

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