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FUNDING RUNNING OUT: 30 street wardens at risk next year

FUNDING RUNNING OUT: 30 street wardens at risk next year

Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston (centre) with Middlesbrough street wardens Image from Facebook, Image: Andy Preston

A councillor has raised concerns about the fate of 30 street wardens next year when funding runs out.

At a recent council meeting, Labour Group leader Matt Storey asked about plans to retain the wardens once cash from the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) dries up in 2022.

The council’s head of environment services, Geoff Field, revealed that if funding ran out it could impact around 30 street wardens.

However, Mayor Andy Preston has said that the service won’t lose 30 wardens as it can be funded in a variety of ways.

Speaking after the Economic Development, Environment and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel, Cllr Storey said: “The TVCA funding will run out for extra street wardens next year. This is not a shock. The Mayor will have known this for some time.

“The question is what does he plan to do when we lose 30 street wardens?

“These officers are essential to our communities. They tackle anti-social behaviour (ASB), parking enforcement, litter picking and have acted as Covid marshalls during the pandemic.

“To lose 30 wardens would have a huge impact and with a crime and ASB crisis in places like Hemlington ongoing, what we do to keep our streets safe has never been more important.

“Not just in the town centre but right across Middlesbrough.

“The Mayor needs a plan in place now to deal with the impact of when this funding expires. He can’t dither and delay on this like he has on so many other issues.”

During the meeting, Mr Field said that this issue was being looked at in association with the council’s medium term financial plan but he was not in a position to say what the proposals would be yet.

Mr Preston said: “We certainly won’t be losing 30 street wardens. Our street wardens will continue to save lives, protect families and assist the police. We can fund our warden service in a variety of ways and we will continue to deliver a great service.”

Last September, the mayor said that Middlesbrough had nearly 60 wardens.

 

Words: Emily Craigie, Local Democracy Reporter


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