Time runs out for parking company

CCI routinely collected vast amounts of money from parking meters across Brighton and Hove
CCI routinely collected vast amounts of money from parking meters across Brighton and Hove

The company that collects millions of poundsfrom the city’s parking machines has been sacked.

The company that collects millions of pounds of cash each year from the city’s parking machines, offices, and schools has been sacked for failing to hand over the money.

Brighton and Hove City Council has appointed a replacement contractor to start work in just over a week’s time.

And it is contemplating taking legal action against Coin Co International (CCI), a Burgess Hill company, if it does not repay the cash that it has collected.

The council declined to say how much was owing, because the figure is changing day by day.

A spokesperson: “In January 2014, it became evident that there were delays in funds being transferred to the council, which continued for some months thereafter.

“The balance of funds due to be paid over continued to rise and - given the volume of cash collected daily from parking meters and other locations - immediate action was necessary to limit the potential financial risks to the council.”

The council gave CCI a deadline to hand over all outstanding money last month and when it failed to do so the council ended the contract.

A repayment plan is expected to lead to CCI paying up. But the council added: “Failure to comply could result in action via the courts, which may have implications for the commercial viability of the company.”

CCI was being paid almost £300,000 a year to bank more than £11 million cash from parking meters and £8 million cash and £21 million in cheques from council offices and schools.

It was allowed to hang on to the funds for up to 10 days, earning interest on top of the fees paid by the council.

A London company called BDI Securities has been handed the contract for two years but will charge £466,000 a year. The council also faces a bill of £15,000 for bank charges as a result of the problems.

A council spokesperson said: “We will be working with CCI to ensure that any payments outstanding at the cessation of the contract are paid over to the council as soon as possible.”