ParkingToday Press Release: ICES supports City Council’s digital vision
Increased automation, more extensive self-service, greater use of business intelligence and the introduction of real-time communications feature prominently in Leeds City Council’s progressive and far-reaching digitisation programme. And, Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions (ICES) is helping the Council’s Parking team to ensure such values are followed through in all areas of enforcement – including on- and off-street enforcement, bus lane enforcement and permit management.
Following a highly competitive tender, the UK’s second largest metropolitan authority has now confirmed that it will be building on its long-term relationship with ICES to help it fulfil its aspirations to become a digitally advanced and agile ‘enabling’ authority.
“We pioneered the use of iPAQ units and mobile phone payments a few years ago and we’ve worked hard to maximise efficiencies wherever we can,” says Mark Jefford, Leeds City Council’s Parking Manager. “But, like many local authorities, the limitations of legacy systems and investment restrictions were compromising our ability to embrace new technologies and to extend our on-line capabilities in tandem with the Council’s broader customer service initiatives. Working closely with ICES, we’re now addressing those shortcomings and taking full advantage of smartphone technologies and web-based functionality as well as the latest generation of real-time enforcement systems.
“The new programme is not only helping us to transform our operational efficiencies, it’s also providing a much more comprehensive self-service capability for citizens – covering everything from bay suspensions, season tickets, and permits to the viewing of evidence and challenging of Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs). In fact, all routine tasks and processes are now fully automated so that the back-office team can focus their attention purely on the more complex issues and where personal interaction is a necessity. The registration and
cashless payment for 26,000 permits each year across nearly 100 different zones will now also be completed on-line by applicants which reduces our administrative input considerably.”
Leeds City Council’s Parking operation is using the ICES 3sixty enforcement software to maximise automated processing of over 150,000 PCNs every year. It has now equipped all 70 of the Council’s Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) with Samsung Galaxy smartphones fitted with the ICES Rialto software to provide a totally integrated enforcement solution with comprehensive real-time functionality. This includes instantaneous uploading of each PCN with full photographic evidence, GPS verification as well as a full case notes and messaging capability.
The system is integrated fully with the Council’s Videalert bus lane enforcement system. It is also supported with the ICES PowerCube to provide advanced business intelligence and management data to help ensure all enforcement activities benefit from insight and informed decision-making.
“Our enforcement activities are now truly intelligence-led,” emphasises Mark Jefford. “This is helping us move forward from a position of strength and, with the additional benefit of real-time communications, is also enabling us to clamp down very effectively on persistent offenders – which is important and a real boost for team morale. As the regional capital and the main economic driver for West Yorkshire, the Council is determined to lead by example and that’s exactly what we’re now doing in all areas of enforcement.”
Leeds City Council’s Parking operation is now preparing to adopt the ICES GeoSmarti computer mapping module and LetterSmarti letter-writing module as it continues to drive further operational efficiencies.
“Our end-to-end solution provides Mark and his colleagues with a versatile, future-proof and responsive approach to all areas of enforcement so that the team can benefit from new technical advances and emerging technologies in the years ahead,” adds Toby Bliss of ICES. “And, of course, the use of smartphones will ensure the Council is able to reap full benefit from the ongoing investment and substantial development in such fast-moving technologies.”
Leeds (left to right) Toby Bliss of Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions with Mark Jefford, Parking Manager of Leeds City Council