A CONTROVERSIAL car parking company has bought a helicopter – but bosses will not say what it will be used for.

One Parking Solution (OPS) runs car parks across Brighton and Hove, including some for the city council.

These included the car park next to Greggs in Peacehaven – but it has just been stripped of the contract after nearby businesses complained about the overzealous fining of parked shoppers.

Now The Argus can reveal OPS has taken out a mortgage on an Enstrom 280FX Shark helicopter.

Lloyd Russell-Moyle, MP for Brighton Kemptown and vocal critic of the company, said: “To see that they’re making so much money that they can splash out on company jets, I’m wondering if that money would be better back in-house.

“The fines are obviously far too high to be making that much profit.”

OPS takes money from all fines and charges for unauthorised or illegal parking in the car parks it runs.

In Brighton and Hove, it runs the enforcement in some council flats’ car parks and land owned by the city council, including Stanmer Park.

The Argus asked if the helicopter, thought to be worth about £70,000, was for company business or the owner’s personal use.

But a representative said the company would not be issuing any comment on the aircraft.

Mr Russell-Moyle said: “I don’t think there’s a place for these companies any more.

“They pick on people who are gullible enough to


“No one has a problem with people who park illegally, that’s fine, but they do not have a reasonable review process.”

The mortgage document on the helicopter was signed by company director Val Capon.

He is also listed as the director of Ethical Parking Management, One Parking Limited and Seldon Fox, previously named All Debt Collection Ltd.

Brighton and Hove City Council has said its contract with OPS is being re-

tendered and is up for renewal in November.

A council spokeswoman said: “The contract is considered a ‘concessionary’ contract. This means that there is no direct cost to the council for the services provided; the contractor is given permission to provide services through the award of the contract.

“The contractor’s income, in this case, comes from the collection of all monies, fines and charges for unauthorised or illegal parking.

“The housing revenue account receives 13 per cent of the charges or fines collected from the current contractor.”