Agenda item

Report on the outcome of statutory consultation on proposed changes to the Essential Service Permit scheme

Report of the Director of Environment and Resident Experience. To be introduced by  the Cabinet Member for Resident Services &Tackling Inequality.


Outcome of the statutory consultation on the introduction of a number of changes to the Essential Service Permit (ESP) scheme, which supports local authority services, NHS health professionals, charities, faith groups, and organisations who provide healthcare, counselling or social care to Haringey residents.


The Cabinet Member for Cabinet Member for Resident Services & Tackling Inequality introduced the report which sought approval to implement changes to the Essential Service Permit scheme following the outcome of statutory consultation.


The Cabinet Member explained that the report and proposed decision acknowledges that there were services that operate in the borough that require vehicle access such social workers who do home visits or community-based services such as religious leaders who visit residents to give last rights.


The Council had conducted a review on the ESP's both in line with transport policies, but also to tighten up a very manual process.


The Cabinet Member highlighted the positive changes including new charges, for diesel surcharge to bring this permit in line with all other parking charges. Also, introducing Essential Service Permits to foster carers for the first time, following extensive co production work with children’s social services.


The Council were also introducing team permits with staff, so that staff did not have an individual annual permit for a specific car but received visitors permits instead.


In response to a question from Cllr da Costa regarding which services retain vehicle specific permits and the provision that will be made for this in the revised operational policy, it was noted that the aim was not to have a rigid policy that becomes unworkable in the future, and, at the moment, there was not a specific team in question. However, this could apply to teams that need that vehicle access every day such as civil enforcement officers.



  1. To consider all feedback including objections to the proposed order, given during the 2023 consultation, as set out in Appendix 4 of this report.
  2.  that the Council shall exercise its discretion to not cause a public inquiry to be called.
  3. That an allocation of 20 parking permits be issued to schools annually at a flat fee of £200 each, with an additional 10 available subject to a surcharge of £100 each.

4.   That Essential Service Permits issued to Council staff being transferable (‘Team’) permits, with provision retained for vehicle specific permits on a needs basis.

5.   That access for regulated foster carers with children up to the age of 15 years to the subsidised ESP scheme.

6.   To agree the change to charges as proposed in Appendix 1.

7.   To agree the delegation of authority to the Head of Highways and Parking to take all consequent steps necessary to implement the proposed measures in recommendations 3 to 6 above.


Reasons for decision.


This scheme allows those delivering essential services to residents to park in controlled parking zones (CPZs). Schools can also access the scheme which is required to support recruitment and retention as well as the efficient operation of the school. The scheme is reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains aligned with the Councils wider transport policies.


This review sought to address residents’ concerns about the impact of ESP holders parking on busy roads, without compromising the benefit of the scheme to users. The recommendations in paragraph 3.1 of this report also address the concerns raised by users in particular schools (who need more flexibility to support their wider recruitment and retention challenges) and registered foster carers (who have expressed a need for free or subsidised parking to support them when taking children to appointments). Allowing foster carers to obtain permits under the ESP scheme at the subsided charge is considered reasonable considering the many appointments carers are required to attend when fostering.


Alternative options considered.

Retaining current arrangements was considered. This would fail to address the dissatisfaction with the scheme. It would also prevent foster carers accessing the scheme.


Consideration was given to excluding schools from the ESP scheme. Those permits are mainly used by teaching staff to commute to work.


There are growing concerns about transport-related pollution and its impact on air quality near schools. The Council has implemented 23 School Streets to address the growing concerns about transport-related air pollution around schools and the impact on children’s health. ESPs for schools inevitably contribute to traffic and congestion and the associated impact on air quality.


While some schools have car parks, others do not and distance from public transport hubs can make it difficult to carry materials or equipment. Those schools therefore feel that parking permits are an important aid to recruitment and retention. The Council aims to support the efficient running of those schools.


Consideration was given to implementing a 2-hour time limit for each ESP parking session. This was considered to minimise the impact of ESP parking on busy roads preventing extended or all-day parking. This would not meet the needs of all users, especially those involved in safeguarding.



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