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IBM car parking row forces ministers to intervene

Local residents complain IT contractors are making their lives a misery
Written by Andy McCue, Contributor

Local residents complain IT contractors are making their lives a misery

Government ministers have been forced to intervene in a parking row between local residents in Guildford and IBM contractors working for the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

The problem started 12 months ago after Defra outsourced its IT to IBM in a 10-year deal worth £850m and contractors started parking in nearby residential roads in Merrow, Guildford.

Local residents made repeated complaints to Defra that they were unable to park in their own roads because IBM contractors were parking there.

After the complaints were ignored, Guildford MP Anne Milton took up the local resident's cause in parliament to try to force Defra to take action.

This resulted in Defra minister Jim Knight confirming to MPs last week that official representations have been made to IBM to stop the contractors parking on local roads.

Knight said: "Defra are carrying out daily patrols in the local roads to try to identify vehicles which belong to IBM employees. Drivers or their line managers are then contacted and asked to move their vehicles even though these may be parked legally."

Defra failed to respond to requests for comment.

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