Spy cars will continue to enforce parking rules in Sutton despite Eric Pickles' 'casino' claim
Controversial CCTV cars will continue to monitor Sutton drivers' parking despite a top Government minister's criticisms.
Sutton Council uses the CCTV cars to film people who park illegally and give out tickets.
But Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles MP has backed plans to ban the so-called spy cars, comparing it to "a casino for local authorities to get some more money".
Despite the criticism, Sutton Council said it will continue to use the cars to monitor parking but does regularly re-evaluate the process and could make changes "as and when necessary".
Mr Pickles said: "Car parking is being used as a way of raising money and the law is very clear - local authorities can't do that."
"I believe that CCTV should be used for catching criminals, preventing crime - not used as a great casino for local authorities to get some more money."
A vigilante protests against the camera cars
A council spokesman said the minister's comments would not shape council policy.
He added: "We are absolutely committed to providing the best possible service to Sutton Council tax-payers.
"In order to do that we are constantly evaluating our processes, including the use of CCTV cars, and make alterations as and when necessary."
The Local Government Association (LGA) has backed the use of the cars for parking enforcement and said they are not about revenue-raising.
Councillor Tony Ball, chairman of the LGA's economy and transport board, said: "Camera cars have been instrumental in keeping children from being hurt or killed on the way to school, and CCTV plays an important role elsewhere in monitoring traffic flow and keeping cars moving.
"Income from on-street parking fines and charges is spent on parking services with any money left over spent on services like fixing potholes and providing subsidised bus travel to children and the elderly."
The cars are unpopular with some motorists in Sutton and have even been the subject of protests.
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