Ipswich: Clamping firm could lose contract

A controversial clamping firm is set to lose its contract at an Ipswich housing development – after a revolt over a whopping �630 fine issued to one resident.

People living in the Fairview Homes development between Duke Street and Fore Hamlet demanded a meeting over the management of the site.

New directors were elected who promptly changed the managing agents responsible for the maintenance of the area.

And now they are expected to end the contract with clamping company Aspire Parking Solutions, which caused outrage when it towed away the van owned by carpenter James Hurd – and demanded hundreds of pounds for its return.

The site is managed by the Duke Street Management Company, which is owned by residents.

Until earlier this year it had only one director, James Holliday, who is sales and marketing director at Fairview Homes, which developed the area around six years ago.

It employed London-based property agents Crabtree to manage the site, including parking arrangements, and that company in turn had a contract with Aspire Parking Solutions to enforce parking regulations.

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The new directors ended the contract with Crabtree and engaged local property agents Home from Home to take over the management of the site – and a meeting this week is expected to confirm that Aspire’s contract will be terminated.

Edward Ottley of Home from Home said: “The people here wanted the management of the site to be run by an Ipswich company, not someone based in London like Crabtree.

“The parking situation was the major factor in that – everyone wants parking to be enforced, but in a way that is familiar to Ipswich, not in a heavy-handed way.

“There have been many incidents over the years that have upset people – but Mr Hurd’s case has really brought the matter to a head.”

Mr Ottley said the company would look at other ways of managing parking. One option would be to enter a contract with the borough council for its parking enforcement officers to include the area in its patrols.

Its parking tickets cost �35 rising to �70 if not paid within a fortnight – and it does not clamp vehicles or tow them away.

No one from Fairview Homes or Crabtree Property Management wanted to make a comment about the situation in Duke Street.

Is it good that new managers have been appointed at Duke Street? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail star letters@archant.co.uk