PROBLEM parkers hoping to dodge tickets at night or early in the morning could soon be in for a shock.

Cumbria County Council parking bosses are hoping to win permission to recruit more civil enforcement officers to help enforce the off-peak hours.

Cllr Giles Archibald, leader of South Lakeland District Council, had said a lack of ‘evening enforcement’ is an issue across the area.

“As you get out of the towns, you get these areas of residents’ parking where people don’t feel necessarily that there’s as much enforcement,” said Cllr Archibald, the Liberal Democrat member for Kendal Town.

Austin Shields, parking manager for CCC, said it aimed to have seven civil enforcement officers for South Lakeland by the end of the year to get its on-street parking team for the area back up to full strength.

He said: “With a depleted team we can’t do as much evening enforcement as we would like.  It would be lovely to have more on top of that. In the last couple of years the service has come under budget so I would really hope to get permission to recruit some additional staff. The officers work on a seven-day-a-week shift system. I think we could do with a few more staff on top of that particularly given the parking issues we get complaints about.”

Cllr Mark Wilson, the Labour member for Ulverston East, said the situation was so bad in the town that Ulverston Town Council had discussed paying for extra patrols to be carried out.

Cllr Jim Bland, the Conservative councillor for the Lyth Valley, said Bowness-had problems with parkers day and night.

He said: “Parking enforcement officers are like the traffic police. They are always there when you don’t need them and never there when you do.”

“It needs a hell of a lot of keeping an eye on.”