Recruitment issues mean Thanet has just 3 parking enforcement officers with 8 roles still vacant

Parking charge notices Photo RAC

Just three out of 11 enforcement officer roles for parking at Thanet council are currently filled.

The authority has been struggling to find – and then retain- people to take on the positions.

The figure was revealed in response to a question by Cllr Cedric Towning at a council meeting on Thursday (March 28).

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods Cllr Heather Keen said: “There are 11 full-time equivalent civil enforcement officer posts in the current establishment with  three post are currently filled.

“However, we have four CVs submitted which we will be processing in the coming weeks and an ongoing recruitment open with a local agency

“It is common knowledge that these roles are extremely difficult to recruit to and this is a common problems faced by authorities across the country with a number of Kent authorities currently running campaigns.”

Cllr Keen said a number of people have been taken on for the roles over the past six months but “there has been a high level of turn over.”

Cedric Towning

Cllr Towning, however, questioned how people would apply for the roles when they were not being advertised either by the recruitment agency – HRGO – or being displayed on the Thanet council website’s vacancy page.

He added: “What is your plan now to move this forward to make sure these jobs are properly advertised and marketed.”

Cllr Keen admitted the vacancy has not been advertised on Thanet council’s website but said an advert would be online from April. She added that HRGO took down the advert after sending over the four applicant CVs but have now reposted it.

She said: “However, there’s still the difficulty in recruiting to these posts, it’s a country and county wide issue.” Adding: “It is a difficult job to recruit to because it is a difficult job to do.”

The civil enforcement officer roles are being advertised as temporary to permanent for £13,09 per hour  (approx£23k per year) on a 37 hour week. People would work on a three week rota between 6.30am and 10pm.

The job advert says: “As a Civil Enforcement Officer, you will perform a unique and innovative role, conducting street patrols within designated areas of the district.”

Requirements include knowledge of the Highway Code and Road Traffic Regulations, clean driving license, being fit and having basic computer skills.

In 2017 the then-UKIP led Thanet council applied to the courts for permission to use powers which allow secret surveillance  in connection to an investigation of its own parking enforcement department. The application was denied.