WIRRAL council's transport chief has hit back at criticism in the Globe of the authority's so-called spy car.

Last week, we published pictures of the white Smart car using its 11ft periscope to to sneak pictures of shoppers parking in West Kirby to use a cash point.

Stephen Hesford, MP for Wirral West, said the council ought to have better things to do than "snooping on my constituents and disrupting the ordinary commercial life of places like West Kirby."

He said the council should re-examine its spending priorities.

And Tory councillor Leah Fraser said: "Big Brother is alive and well in Wallasey Town Hall, whether it is secret snooping using anti-terrorist laws or a video camera on a 20ft pole going past your bedroom window."

Wirral’s cabinet member for Streetscene and transport services Councillor Jean Quinn emailed the paper this morning to say: "Wirral tax payers do not pay for the Smart CCTV car.

"The car is used to target drivers parking illegally causing hazards to road users and pedestrians.

"If we were to have a ‘spy car’ it would not have a council logo and camera logo on the sides of the vehicle and it would not have an 11ft mounted camera on a telescopic arm."

And she added: "The drivers are trained and experienced professionals who use the car for parking enforcement; only people parking illegally have anything to fear."

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