Agenda item

Performance review of Saba (car park operators) 2022-23

Joint Scrutiny Committee is to consider Saba’s performance in delivering the car park operations contract for the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 and to make any comments before a final assessment on performance is made.



Cabinet Member for Environment (South), Councillor Sue Cooper, and Cabinet Member for Environmental Services and Waste (Vale), Councillor Mark Coleman, were present to introduce the report and answer any questions.

Officers supporting the item were Head of Development and Corporate Landlord, and the Technical Services Manager. Saba representative Nigel Griffin was present to answer questions.


Councillor Coleman gave an introduction to the report. The contract end was in three years’ time. In summary, overall performance was 97%, despite a few KPIs not meeting targets, and the Head of Development and Corporate Landlord considered that performance for the year 2022-23 should be rated ‘good’. Scrutiny were asked for any comments before the assessment was formalised.


Comments for officers and Cabinet members were as follows:

  • It was asked why there was an 8.8% contract cost rise year on year. Councillor Cooper explained it was index linked.
  • Regarding a question on revenue, Councillor Cooper explained that we receive a report every November, showing details of revenue coming in. A member raised whether members could look at revenue figures. Councillor Coleman suggested that he could bring a response back to the Co-chair.
  • A member asked how often pay machines break down? Could this information be given?
  • Members would like to see how the public feel about the carpark service, noting there were no complaints reported in this period. Nigel Griffith added that customer satisfaction was not widespread over the contracts they had, but he would look for opportunities. There were issues around what was Saba responsibility – customers may complain about maintenance issues that are out of the scope of the Saba contract.
  • A member suggested a mystery shopper experience to gain feedback.
  • A small number of customer satisfaction survey returns was a trend, members and officers could look at options.
  • A member asked about Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) – could Saba comment on what they felt was going well? Cabinet member added that lots of praise was given on Saba staff training. Saba representative was happy with the collaboration, and it had gone very well and CPE was considered to be a better system so far.
  • A member asked Saba about KPI’s that reached 100% - do they look to improve KPI’s further or just maintain the score? Saba representative explained that KPIs can be reviewed.
  • KPI2 – had the staffing issue been resolved for issuing Customer Penalty Notices (CPN’s)? Saba representative explained that there was a period of time developing a new team, and this team had now stabilised over this period.
  • A member questioned whether the Saba staff wage was competitive enough to retain staff. Particularly as the contract price increase should be reflected in staff pay, as staffing was Saba’s biggest running cost. It was asked that the Saba representative take this away to discuss.
  • KPI7: A member questioned the rating changing from “good” to “fair”. It was considered that data was not there to support a downgrading of that score for customer satisfaction. Cabinet members considered that Saba should have attempted improvement in the score over three years of notice, hence the downgrade.
  • A member asked about pay machines that can differentiate between vehicles (for climate implications). Potentially charge brand new cars more if they use polluting fuels. Cabinet member added that this would need to be a contract discussion and would need stipulating in there.
  • If there was not good utilisation of car parks, can we look at alternate uses, such as mobile car washes etc, to contribute to revenue.


In summary, the chair stated that committee would like to see the following:

  • A way of finding meaningful customer feedback
  • How do we review KPI’s that keep hitting 100%?
  • Addressing the concern over competitiveness of pay for Saba staff, and
  • Investment in machines to make more intelligent charging and to be climate conscious.



It was proposed that the committee was satisfied with the performance rating within the report of the Head of Development and Corporate Landlord for Saba contract performance during 2022-23 and committee provided their comments which can be considered during contract negotiation and future service.



Supporting documents: