A TRAFFIC warden in Hounslow earned more than £42,000 last year, it has emerged.
Civic Centre chiefs have confirmed reports the parking attendant was paid £42,524 during 2009/10, but defended the size of the pay packet.
A Hounslow Council spokesman said none of its wardens received bonuses related to the number of tickets issued. He said the top-earner's wages had been boosted by overtime at weekends, particularly during Sunday shopping hours.
"It is extremely difficult to recruit parking enforcement staff given the stigma that surrounds this role, and we have not had a full complement of staff for more than a year," he added.
"Bearing in mind that we have one of the smaller enforcement teams in London, we want to keep traffic moving and protect spaces for our residents - which we are legally obliged to do - so we have to offer overtime. Additional hours are only offered to staff that are proficient in their duties."
The council has 31 parking enforcement officers, including two senior officers, who were paid a total of £902,000 last year.
It also employed 12 agency staff during 2009/10 at a cost of £128,000, bringing the total bill to more than £1million.
Traffic wardens in Hounslow are not the capital's biggest earners. One attendant in Tower Hamlets reportedly earned £53,000 last year. .