Clamping move in Ongar is defended

by Gazette Reporter

A management company director has defended the practice of employing clamping companies in Ongar Wood Estate following accusations from Cllr Matt Waine (AAA) that the methods they employed are “aggressive”.
Parking permits are required to park in the area and the residents being clamped are those who have not been issued permits due to non-payment of management fees.
Cllr Waine said: “I have been contacted by many residents in Ongar who have been the victim of aggressive clamping by clamping companies. These rigid clamping practices seem more to do with extracting cash from residents rather than anything to do with ensuring safe parking and traffic management in these estates. Ongar generally doesn’t have a parking problem.
“The ‘efficient’ manner in which cars are clamped is in marked contrast to the fulfilment of other duties of management companies. Legislation is required to regulate the actions of clamping companies.
“I believe the basis for clamping should be restricted to general parking offences, and not used as a cash raising method for clamping companies or management companies.”
Paul McPartlin, voluntary director of Ongar Wood Management, hit back saying the company was months away from collapse and the decision to employ a clamping company, which was not taken lightly, effectively saved the company.
“This [potential] collapse was brought on by 51% of the residents living there not complying with their legal obligation to pay annual management fees [every unit owner at Ongar Wood signed a legal document to pay an annual charge to go towards the insurance bills, and the upkeep of the area].
“The total debtors [unpaid management fees] figures in April 2014 were €646,000.
“I would like for Cllr Waine to go back to his ‘many residents’ and ask them how much they know about what they have signed themselves into. Residents bought into the estate [and the company] 12 years ago now, and I find it incredible they still don’t know what it is they signed up for.”
A spokesperson from the Department of Transport said the Vehicle Clamping Bill 2014 introduced to the Dail this week aims to regulate clamping for the first time on public and private property.

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