ISPA Closure

All operations to cease at the end of March 2017

At the meeting of The Independent Scrutiny Board for Parking Appeals on Private Land (ISPA) on 26 January 2017 the Board was informed of the decision of the British Parking Association (BPA) to cease its funding from 1 April 2017.  As a consequence the Board accepted there was no alternative but to cease all its operations at the end of March 2017.

ISPA fulfils a vital role in ensuring that the Parking on Private Land Appeals (POPLA) service, funded by members of the BPA’s Approved Operator Scheme, delivers fair and efficient adjudication on parking appeals. By auditing cases whilst remaining at arm’s length from both POPLA and BPA, ISPA fulfils the vital role of quality assurance and ensures complete independence of the service.

BPA Chief Executive, Patrick Troy, has been in correspondence with Marcus Jones MP, Minister for Local Government at the Department for Communities and Local Government, for several months seeking clarification of the situation that allows the International Parking Community (IPC) to operate as an Accredited Trade Association with access to DVLA data without having to fund an independent scrutiny board for their appeals service.

On 17 October Patrick Troy said to the Minister –

“the BPA is unable to fund ISPA beyond the end of March this year pending an announcement from the Government and given that there appears to be no requirement for a body such as ISPA to be established in relation to the BPA's status as an Accredited Trade Association”.

In his reply on 16 December the Minister said –

“I recognise the important role that ISPA has to play in providing independent scrutiny and a guarantee of independence to the British Parking Association's (BPA's) appeals service POPLA. I think it very important for the motoring public this body continues to play that role, whilst I consider the best way forward on parking reform.”

ISPA Chairman, Douglas Campbell, has written to the Minister saying –

 “I believe the BPA decision reflects their frustration with the lack of a level playing field between them and the other ATA rather than simply the cost of funding our budget.  I have every sympathy with them as their members appear to be bearing a cost that some commercial competitors are free from.

“I urge you to find a way that will allow motorists to feel reassured that there is independent scrutiny of what they may understandably see as the parking industry controlling appeals against the actions of the parking industry.  If you want to see ISPA continue, whether that be in the short term or the longer term, we need funding from somewhere.  If there is a will to fund us after 31 March we can discuss budgets and service levels to see if there is a solution at an acceptable cost.”

The practical effect of the loss of funding is that ISPA will cease all activity on 31 March 2017.  Enquiries and complaints received after the end of February will not be processed.  No case audits by the ISPA assessors will be done after the middle of March.  The final meeting of ISPA will be on 22 March.

The Parking on Private Land Appeals service (POPLA) – www.popla.co.uk - will continue to operate, but will no longer be subject to independent scrutiny.

Douglas Campbell OBE FCA – Chairman

2 February 2017

13 February 2017

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