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Future of Street Wardens

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DELEGATED PORTFOLIO MEMBER AGENDA REPORT

Title of Report:            Future of Street Wardens



Report Ref:                                                   RE307/v2


Portfolio
CG             CG                 C&O               C&O                  R&E                R&E 
Corp.Gov       Fin./eGov.         Ops./Facs         Hsg./SocInc          Econ.Regen         Built Env




Portfolio Holder and Tel No              Ken Sale                              Identify which Key
                                                                               Result Area(s) relate:
                                         01502 572026
                                                                               Improving the condition
                                                                                of our street, pavements,
                                                                                beaches and public
Meeting Date                             22 June 2005                           areas.

                                                                               Reduce crime and
                                                                               disorder and improve
Report Author and Tel No                 Martin Plane
                                                                               community safety.
                                         01502 523390


MATTER FOR DECISION

 Funding for the Suffolk Street Wardens Service expires in April 2005. This report sets out the options
 for the service from that point. The Council needs to determine its position within the current
 partnership.

EXTERNAL CONSULTATIONS HELD

 With Suffolk County Council Community Safety Team, St Edmundsbury Borough Council and the
 Police.

OTHER OPTIONS CONSIDERED AND REJECTED

 That the decision is made now to end the project in March 2006 through the withdrawal of funding.

ORGANISATIONAL IMPLICATIONS
 Financial Implications                                 Yes
 Legal Implications                                     Yes
 Human Resources Implications                           Yes
 Best Value Implications                                 No
 Human Rights Implications                               No
 Community Safety Implications                          Yes
 Confidentiality Implications                            No
 Asset Management Implications                           No
 Key Decision                                            No
Financial Implications – The current offer from the County Council sees the partnership agreeing to
continue funding the Street Warden service, with the County Council providing 50% of the forward
funding for the next three years. The remaining partners (St Edmundsbury Borough Council and
Waveney District Council) providing the remaining 50%. The cost of the service for Waveney is
estimated at £60k for 2005/06, which was included in the 2005/06 budget, agreed by Council on the
24th February 2005. Waveney District Council also provides support funding in kind comprising IT
infrastructure, office accommodation and overheads for Wardens and administrative and management
staff at the Clapham Road office.
Provision for further funding in 2006/07 and 2007/08 is included in the Medium Term Strategy but is
as yet uncommitted by Members.
Legal Implications – The powers that the Council have will need to be passed to the Street Wardens
via an agency agreement.
Human Resources Implications – There are currently one full time warden supervisor and three part-
time street wardens in Lowestoft. Both Warden Teams in Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds are
managed and administered by one administrator and one manager based at Waveney District Council
offices in Clapham Road, Lowestoft. Street Warden scheme staff are employed by Suffolk County
Council and managed jointly by the Suffolk County Council and Waveney District Council. In the
event that the partnership does not opt to continue with the service, then their contracts with Suffolk
County Council would be terminated.
Community Safety Implications – The Street Wardens have the potential to contribute to the
Environmental Stewardship objectives of the Council, contributing to the Comm unity Safety
objectives of Waveney DC. It has been included as one of the priority outcomes within the Service
Plan to satisfy criticisms made in the CPA report.

REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATION

 This recommendation will ensure that the service is flexible enough to meet the needs of Waveney
 District Council in carrying out its environmental stewardship role.

 This will be achieved through a programme of enforcement, complementary to Waveney District
 Council’s existing statutory functions in this area of work co-ordinated by the Environmental Health
 team.
 This recommendation will extend the area of activities to the whole of the Waveney District. The
 draft implementation plan is attached at Appendix 1. (That draft will be updated if and when this
 report is approved to reflect slippage that has already occurred). The key milestone dates marked on
 that draft plan reflect key dates in the Waveney DC High Level Improvement Plan.


RECOMMENDATION



or DECISION REFERRED TO FULL EXECUTIVE MEETING

 1. That Waveney District Council is committed to the Street Warden scheme in its revised form (as
    detailed in this report) and will work in partnership with Suffolk County Council and St
    Edmundsbury Borough Council to achieve the objectives set out in this report and the draft
    implementation plan (appendix 1).
 2. That funding for 2006/07 and 2007/08 be committed in principle, to be confirmed by a further
    report and subject to a review of progress towards the objectives set out in this report and the
    draft implementation plan.
 3. That powers be passed to the Street Wardens through the operation of an agency agreement
    commensurate with their training and experience to be determined by the Portfolio Manager (Built
    Environment).
BACKGROUND PAPERS

File on Suffolk Street Wardens

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

In 2002 Suffolk County Council (SCC), Waveney District Council (WDC), St Edmundsbury Borough
Council (St EdsBC) and Suffolk Police formed a partnership to apply for grant funding to the
Neighbourhood Renewal Unit of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to establish Street Wardens
in Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds.
The grant application was led by SCC Community Safety Unit and was for 50% grant funding over a
two-year project, which has now ended.
Waveney’s contribution of £60,000 was through the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership
funding and in-kind funding comprising IT infrastructure, office accommodation and overheads.
The Suffolk Street Wardens Project is managed by SCC, through the Community Safety Unit.             All
Suffolk Street Warden staff are employees of SCC. The project comprises:-
Office Staff
Full Time Scheme Manager
Full Time Administrator
Warden Team
Full Time Team Leader x 1
Part Time Wardens x 3

Wardens Patrol Areas
Patrols are currently restricted to 23 streets in the Town Centre. Analysis of the Environmental
Health team’s statistics over the past 5 years demonstrates that fewer than 5% of the Council’s
environmental stewardship enforcement activities are generated from within the area delineated by
these 23 streets. This points to the need to direct resources to the wider district and in particular to
identified “hot-spot” areas.

Wardens’ Powers
Currently wardens do not have enforcement powers of any description. Their role is limited to
providing advice. The increasing demands of environmental stewardship legislation require District
Councils to take an increasingly proactive role in prevention by education and enforcement. This
objective can be better served by training and authorising the Street Wardens to make use of a range
of enforcement powers including issuing fixed penalty notices, as detailed below.

Police Community Support Officers
Since the creation of the Suffolk Street Wardens Scheme, national legislation has been introduced to
enable Police Authorities to employ “Police Community Support Officers”. PCSOs provide a visible
presence in the community, helping the police to tackle anti-social behaviour and offering
reassurance to the public. PCSOs act as the eyes and ears on the streets for the Police. They patrol
in uniform and under the direction of a Police Commander responding to crime and disorder issues,
dealing with:

              truants, graffiti, abandoned vehicles, litter, missing persons enquiries
              helping to support victims
              assisting with house to house enquiries
              involvement in patrolling major public events and ceremonials
              helping to control crowds
              protecting the public from security threats
              supporting the police to improve public safety
              contributing to the regeneration of local communities
              the power to detain someone pending the arrival of a constable
              the power to direct traffic and remove vehicles
                 the power to issue fixed penalty notices in relation to a range of anti-social behaviours
                                                                     (source: www.policecouldyou.co.uk )

This role of PCSOs needs to be considered when defining the future role of the Street Wardens.
Consultation will take place to ensure that respective roles and responsibilities are complementary
and do not give rise to conflict or duplication. This will be achieved by close liaison with the Police
throughout.

Integration with            Waveney DC’s statutory functions in               respect of “Environmental
Stewardship”

Waveney District Council has wide ranging statutory responsibilities to manage the environment.
This is reflected in numerous acts of Parliament, which empower it to take specific actions in
response to specific threats to the quality of the environment and risks to health. These
responsibilities are supported by specific legal powers. This role is undertaken by the Council’s
Environmental Health team.

Effective integration and extension of the Street Warden’s role will necessitate tighter integration with
existing enforcement expertise and procedures based in the EH enforcement team.

It is proposed therefore that their role will move towards greater emphasis on these high priority
“Environmental Stewardship” functions, as follows:

       1.     Education and enforcement across the entire district according to priorities identified from
              analysing complaint trends and hotspots identified during proactive inspection work.

       2.     Direct enforcement of legislation related to environmental stewardship issues including
              administering fixed penalty notice schemes in respect of:

                       i.    Littering (1)
                      ii.    dog fouling (2)
                     iii.    graffiti (3) (6)
                     iv.     fly-posting (3)
                      v.     other fixed penalty provisions (6)

       3.     Evidence gathering (PACE standard) in relation to more complex or gross environmental
              offences in co-operation with existing Council enforcement teams to achieve integration of
              detection and enforcement of environmental crimes at all levels, particularly with regard
              to;

                 graffiti removal notice provisions (3) (6)
                 fly-posting removal notice provisions (3) (6)
                 unlawful advertisements (fly-posting & fly leafleting) (6) (7) (8)
                 abandoned vehicles (6) (9)
                 fly-tipping detection and enforcement (1) (3) (6)
                 waste transport and disposal regulations enforcement (1) (3)
                 public health act in respect of accumulations on land (1) (4) (5)
                 litter control area designation and removal notice provisions        (1) (6)

                 street litter control notice provisions (1) (6)
                 BV199 inspections (1)
                 receiving reports of stray dogs (1) (6)
                 enforcement of “dogs on beach” by-law (1)
 (1)                                                 (2)
     Environmental Protection Act 1999                   Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996
 (3)                                                 (4)
     Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003                      Prevention of Damage by Pests Act 1949
 (5)                                                 (6)
     Public Health Act 1936                              Cleaner Neighbourhoods & Environment
                                                     Bill
 (7)                                                 (8)
       Highways Act 1980                                 Town & Country Planning Act 1990
 (9)
       Refuse Disposal Amenity Act 1978
 The post holders will be trained to enforce the relevant provisions to PACE standards

 The efficient fulfilment of these functions in pursuance of corporate objectives will require closer
 integration of the role with the existing environmental stewardship enforcement functions exercised
 by the Environmental Health team. For this reason, the Principal Environmental Health Officer
 responsible for Environmental Protection and Waste Management will work closely with the Warden
 Manager and Team Leader to direct the Street Wardens’ day-to-day activities in pursuit of the
 objectives described in this report.

Notes:
1.       Non confidential reports to Executive must be available to the public for five days before the meeting.
2.       Confidential and non-confidential reports dealing with key decisions can be taken by a single Executive Member
         provided the matter has been included on the forward plan and a copy must be given as soon as practical to the
         relevant Scrutiny Chairman otherwise the constitution procedure rules must be adhered to. Please contac t the
         Committee team if not on the forward plan.

				
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