IPC Annual Conference sets the tone for a significant year for the parking industry

“We’ve injected new vigour for driving change and service improvements,” said Chief Executive, Will Hurley

Over 200 delegates attended the International Parking Community (IPC) 2018 Annual Conference, held at the Double Tree in Milton Keynes. In his opening address, Will Hurley, Chief Executive, outlined the many industry firsts introduced by the IPC and emphasised the importance of compliance as the industry readies itself for new legislation.

“We’ve injected new vigour for driving change and service improvements in the parking industry,” he said. “As our achievements have shown, we’re continuing to challenge convention and setting new standards in everything we do. Irrespective of Sir Greg Knight’s Private Members Bill, everyone is now in agreement and I am sure it is only a matter of time before the industry has a new single code of practice.

“However, co-operation and laudable legislation will only go so far in helping to improve consistency and fairness in parking practices. As always, it is compliance with agreed standards that will provide the real key for change. That’s why we are preparing to introduce extra measures that will help to maximise compliance and provide the best possible protection for motorists, landowners and parking operators alike. Such steps will not only provide additional assurances and clarity, but will also ensure the spirit of the new bill is truly followed through in practice.”

Adopting ‘Raising the bar’ as its theme, the conference looked to showcase a progressive approach for improving industry standards and featured a number of guest speakers. There were also separate training sessions provided by the Training and Development Academy and special forums for delegates from centres of higher education and local authorities.

The conference agenda in the main hall included an informative update on the current status of the Parking (Code of Practice) Bill, provided by Sarah McLean from the bill management team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. The Leader of Milton Keynes Council, Peter Marland, provided an insightful presentation on the steps being taken by the authority to improve mobility and sustainable transport options around the borough. Guidance on VAT issues associated with Parking Charge Notices and KADOE insurance for parking operators was provided by Keith Miller from Dow Schofield Watts and Alexander Margolin from SIOMA Insurance Consultants.

Other presentations were provided by ZatPark, Transport Systems Catapult, Justpark and “inspirational” speaker, Pete Cohen. 20 exhibitors were in attendance in the adjoining exhibition and reception area. The conference culminated with a gala dinner and dance, and a special fundraising auction and raffle in support of the UK Sepsis Trust, which raised well over £10,000 for the charity.

“It’s the efforts of supporters like the IPC that allow us to continue the fight against sepsis,” said Sam Hiskett, Fundraising Assistant at the Trust. “The funds raised will help us in our mission to save thousands of lives across the UK by ending preventable deaths from sepsis.”

“Feedback from delegates, sponsors, exhibitors and our chosen charity has made all of the effort to provide an insightful and enjoyable annual conference worthwhile,” said Hurley. “This year’s conference was bigger and better than ever before and I’m delighted it has become such a popular event in the parking calendar.”