HALF of the car park staff currently employed by Ealing Council could be facing redundancy if proposals are agreed by councillors next week.

The council will consider a proposal, on Tuesday, September 18, to reduce the number of car park officers, who assist customers at council run multi-storey car parks, from 12 to six.

It will also consider a proposal to slash the number of area inspectors, who monitor the company contracted to provide parking attendants, by 20 per cent.

Philip Burns, the council's head of parking services, said: "One of the options we looked at is taking car park officers out altogether, but we decided they do a very good job.

"I think we can maintain the level of customer services that we should have, as some boroughs do not have any attendants in car parks at all."

The number of parking wardens on the street has increased from 60 to 80 in the past year, but Mr Burns is confident that reducing the number of people monitoring them will not effect performance.

He said: "Part of their job is to review the work APCOA, the council's parking contractor, does, but improvements such as parking attendants taking pictures of issued tickets with digital cameras, mean there is not as much work for them to do."

At a meeting of the parking scrutiny committee on Tuesday, September 11, residents were told the council was making a concerted effort to improve parking customer services.

Members of the public also questioned the overall parking policy and enforcement, with local traders particularly frustrated at the lack of progress on loading issues.

Patrick Kennedy, who represents the Ealing Chamber of Commerce, has been asking for improvements in the loading situation for five years.

He said: "The meeting was a good PR exercise but actions speak louder than words - and Ealing is in the last chance saloon in terms of parking provision.

"People are scared to come into the borough to do their shopping because of the parking situation and traders are put off because they do not get enough time to unload vans."