The IPC goes ‘Over and Above’ at its Annual Conference

October 24, 2019

The IPC goes ‘Over and Above’ at its Annual Conference

Skills development and ever-higher professional standards were at the heart of the 2019 International Parking Community’s (IPC) Annual Conference in Milton Keynes.  As well as a series of special training and advice sessions for the highest ever number of conference delegates, the event also saw the launch of the new IPC Code of Practice.  Adopting a theme of ‘Over and Above’, the Conference featured a series of presentations from invited speakers and raised just under £13,000 for this year’s IPC nominated charity, Papyrus.

IPC 2019 Conference

“Even though it now has Royal assent, the new Parking Act is not the end of the story in helping to establish fairness and consistency within the parking industry,” said Will Hurley, Chief Executive of the IPC in his opening address.

“We are all well aware of the prevailing political uncertainty and it’s anyone’s guess how these turbulent times in the corridors of power will impact the timing of the consultation process for the Parking Act’s Code of Practice.  But that is no justification for prevarication and mustn’t hold us back.  On the contrary, the mould has been set and we should now be looking to put the spirit of the Act into practice by setting an example for all corners of the industry to follow.  And we need to ensure we do so in a way that will raise standards within the industry without eroding the rights of all parties.”

Mr Hurley unveiled the IPC’s new and simplified Code of Practice to Conference delegates.  As well as making it a mandatory requirement for operators to have an assigned Compliance Officer, there are many significant changes in the new Code including tighter regulations for self-ticketing operations and a clear statement of the obligations that lie with any motorist when parking their vehicle. He also drew attention to the IPC’s new ‘Marking the Lines’ manifesto that provides a definitive and progressive statement on the IPC’s position on all of the key issues relating to parking on private land. This comprehensive document also emphasises the importance of competition as a driving force for continual improvements in the provision of parking services and practices.

“Quite simply, we’re taking decisive and immediate action that is wholly in line with the objectives of the new Parking Act,” continued Mr Hurley.  “We know what’s needed.  We know what’s important to our members.  And we know what assurances the motoring public are seeking.  We are determined to lead by example and ensure we go over and above what is expected of us – to ensure that standards are raised without eroding rights and, above all else, to ensure the spirit and aspirations of the new Act are followed through in practice without any delay.”

As well as an open Q&A session with members of the IPC Steering Committee, the main Conference Hall also featured an insightful presentation from Sarah McLean, a Senior Policy Adviser at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

As well as highlighting initiatives to boost the vitality and appeal of High Streets, she also provided delegates with an update on the Parking (Code of Practice) Act.  Having previously had responsibilities as Bill Manager as the Act passed through Parliament, she is now working on its implementation and confirmed there is now clarity on the areas that will be covered by this ‘enabling Act’.  She also applauded the “candid thoughts” of the IPC over the past year and stressed the ongoing importance of evidence-based industry submissions during the forthcoming consultation process.

Tony Porter, Surveillance Camera Commissioner for England and Wales also returned to the IPC Conference stage to provide delegates with an update on the National Surveillance Camera Strategy.  He also took the opportunity to praise the proactive stance of the IPC in maximising ANPR standards and presented Certificates of Compliance to Athena ANPR for its use of ANPR technologies and to District Enforcement Ltd for its use of Body Worn Video and ANPR systems.

Other speakers included Louis Ellis, who outlined the significance of the new e-learning platform for enforcement recruits launched by The Training and Development Academy, and the widely acclaimed motivational speaker, Mark Rhodes. There were also a series of workshops on parking law, compliance, Research and Development Tax Relief and ANPR standards as well as special workshops for IPC members in centres of higher education and in local authorities.

No less than 28 exhibitors had stands in the adjacent exhibition area that, once again, proved to be a popular area for discussing the topics covered by the main speakers and for networking with other professionals from all areas of the parking industry.

As in previous years, the day concluded with a Gala Dinner and entertainment in the main Ballroom of the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes.  This included an exciting and highly competitive auction that raised £12,920 for PAPYRUS, the UK Charity for the prevention of young suicide.

“We were delighted to be selected as the IPC’s nominated charity this year and it was a pleasure to meet so many professionals from the parking industry at the Conference and Gala Dinner,” said Liam Durkan, Corporate Fundraising Officer at PAPYRUS.  “However, I have to say that the money raised at the charity auction far exceeded our expectations and will go a long way in helping us to lead the fight against suicide among young people.  On behalf of everyone at PAPYRUS and everyone who contacts our helpline, a huge thank you to the IPC and its members for their support of our cause and their wonderful generosity.”

The IPC has confirmed that the 2020 Annual Conference will be on Thursday, 12th November.

Editorial enquiries –             Ron Dyson          tel 01935 83622 

Issued on behalf of The International Parking Community

22 October 2019