MOTORISTS who flout parking regulations could escape being dealt with by the police, if a senior councillor gets his way.

Long-serving Flint town councillor Terry Renshaw claims decriminalising parking offences in Flintshire could be the key to topping up the county’s finances while times are hard.

At a town council meeting last week, Cllr Renshaw said £1.9 billion was collected last year by local authorities across England and Wales which have taken control of parking offences.

In Flintshire, the area is currently dealt with by North Wales Police and the services of force-employed traffic wardens are ‘leased’ to town councils.

Cllr Renshaw said: “Parking fines in Flintshire at the moment are criminal matters. If you fail to pay, then you could end up in the magistrates’ court.

“But if the local authority took over parking issues, it would be a civil action and the money collected would go straight back in to improving services in the county.

“This has been a campaign of mine for more than five years and I do not intend to give up on it.”

In order to successfully decriminalise parking, Flintshire Council would be required to make a legitimate case for it to both the Welsh Assembly Government and North Wales Police.

Cllr Renshaw said: “The council would need to show that it planned to spend the cash collected on things like improving road safety and transport links or providing better off-street parking facilities.

“I think people would feel much less aggrieved about paying parking fines if they knew the money was being put straight back in to improving the community, rather than the Home Office coffers.”

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