Council-funded Bury St Edmunds PCSO catches chairman out

Bury St Edmunds Town Council-funded PCSO Emily Howell
Bury St Edmunds Town Council-funded PCSO Emily Howell

A council’s plan to crackdown on illegal parking took an interesting twist when its chairman got caught out.

Bury St Edmunds Town Council decided to fund the role of new Bury police community support officer (PCSO) Emily Howell so that it could focus her attention on the issues it received the most complaints for – and high on that list was parking enforcement.

PCSO Howell has got off to a flying start, issuing 107 parking tickets since December 15 – including one to town council chairman Andrew Speed who exposed his wrongdoing in a council meeting last week.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: “Emily’s already proved so efficient that I had to face a fair cop and take my punishment on the chin.”

He said his car was ticketed when he overstayed in Hatter Street and he was willing to ‘make a mug of himself to help get the message out there’.

But he was quick to point out that PCSO Howell ‘is more than just a traffic warden’.

“She will have a wider community role as well as grabbing those unfortunates amongst us who are a bit late at getting back to their cars,” he said.

With that in mind, PCSO Howell has started going out around Bury with groups of councillors so that they can highlight areas of concern within their wards.

Cllr Speed said she had already become a point of envy in nearby towns, with people from Ipswich, Sudbury and Felixstowe commenting on social media that they wished they had something similar.

A second town council-funded PCSO is expected to start around April/May.