Community Warden Service Saved!
16th December 2014
Following the consultation, Kent County Council has issued the following press release:
9 December 2014
The number of community wardens in Kent is likely to remain at its present level, following an extensive public consultation on plans to reduce it.
As part of its efforts to make huge financial savings over the next three years, the county council was intending to reduce the number of wardens to 46 but it is now proposing to retain the service at its current level of about 70 uniformed staff.
Mike Hill, KCC's Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: "We carried out a six-week consultation which produced nearly 1,200 responses. More than 100 of those were from district and parish councils and the vast majority praised the wardens, either as individuals or as a service, and were keen to see it retained.
"We were already aware of the important role that our wardens play in the areas they serve, but this consultation has brought home to us how valued they are by those communities.
"We have listened and paid attention to public opinion and I am recommending the correct course of action is to maintain the status quo. I received an indication of support from my Cabinet colleagues at a meeting last month, since when we have been working on some operational issues which have now been resolved.
"Although we will be keeping all the present uniformed wardens, we will achieve some savings by a reduction in back-office staff and by closing three area offices.
"We will also need to make some minor reorganisation to the warden service, because there is an imbalance in the provision across certain parts of the county.
"But the main impact of my decision is that we have heeded public opinion and, assuming my recommendation is ratified by the full Cabinet early in January, this important service should remain at its current level."