So if they are text enabled...
...why can't they be credited with money by sending a premium text? Why can't they sms the person who is parked there 5 mins before the meter runs out and warn them so they can sms extra credit to the meter?
This is not use of IT to make life easier, this is just another (possibly more expensive) way of doing something which is not innovative or useful to the public at large who pay for these things.
I say sack the council worker who wasted (I would expect) millions of council tax pounds on this crap.