Fri. Aug 14th, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Parking team on the front line of the coronavirus response

2 min read
Lee Hodge is a busy man.

Lee Hodge is a busy man.

From the start of lockdown to mid-May, he did not have a single day off as he coordinated and supported his team of 15 staff as they were redeployed to deliver PPE and food parcels, and marshal traffic at the Island’s coronavirus (Covid-19) testing centre.

They made more than 600 welfare visits to ensure people who were isolating had access to the support they needed. Staff have also been working in a food warehouse and distribution centre, ensuring supplies reach those that need them.

Lee, a parking supervisor, is full of praise for his staff and the way they adapted to their new roles with enthusiasm and professionalism.

“One of our civil enforcement officers (CEO) — Julia — walked into that food warehouse and ensured it ran like clockwork since day one,” he said.

Lee’s staff wore their CEO uniform throughout the lockdown.

“There have been a few people surprised to see a civil enforcement officer knock on their door to deliver food,” he said.

“The staff have really enjoyed being more involved in the community, plus getting a welcome reception from the public — which they don’t always get when they are managing parking.”

As parking staff start to return to their substantive roles, the duties they have been undertaking will be back filled, but they are taking away some positive experiences during what has been such a challenging time for everyone.

Councillor Ian Ward, Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, agrees: “Hopefully we have shown that we are part of the community and here to make sure it runs smoothly, for everyone.

“I have always said that the civil enforcement officers provide an essential service to the community. The response to Covid-19 certainly proves this even more.”