Renfrewshire community safety wardens hours could be cut amid service review

Community safety wardens patrolling Tannhill Road and Tannahill Terrace in Ferguslie Park, Paisley
-Credit: (Image: Andrew Neil)

The safety of Renfrewshire neighbourhoods could be endangered – with community wardens’ hours at risk of being cut amid a review into the service.

It has emerged that the community safety wardens could have their hours cut in the evenings, which is when most disorder occurs, claims Dr Andrew Ramsay, chair of the Paisley East and Whitehaugh Community Council.

The revelation was made at a meeting of the community council recently, with local wardens telling those in attendance about the Renfrewshire Council review underway that could mean no more cover after 7pm.

It is also expected that their role will be less about issues such as youth disorder, dog fouling, littering and fly-tipping, and to focus more on parking policy enforcement.

Andrew told the Paisley Daily Express: “There’s an internal review going on within the warden service and what we fear is that firstly the backshift of the wardens is going to be cut, which obviously means they get less money because they use their back shift allowance, but two, there’ll be no presence in the town or the surrounding villages after seven o’clock at night.

“It’s later on in the evening when youth disorder is at its most prevalent. Barshaw Park is part of our area and we tend to find that there’s a lot of youth disorder in the park late in the evenings.

“Also, they’re being told to focus almost entirely on parking, so the other remit that they have such as littering, fly-tipping, community safety, dog fouling; these are all getting sidelined at the moment.

“Basically, their job is being changed from community safety officers to parking attendants by stealth.”

The confirmation of whether the review will definitely cut warden’s hours has yet to come from Renfrewshire Council – but Andrew and the community council are calling on any cuts to the service to be abandoned. He said: “It’s not yet been confirmed.

“The wardens told us the review is underway and this is what they fear. Our secretary has written to the council to express our concerns over community safety if the cuts go ahead.”

All Renfrewshire Council would say at the moment was that a review of the service was currently taking place.

It remained tight-lipped on the details of any proposals to emerge from that review.

A spokesperson for Renfrewshire Council told the Paisley Daily Express: “The wardens service is currently being reviewed in the same approach as reviews of other council services in recent years.

“These are carried out to ensure we provide an efficient and effective service which meets the needs of our communities, improving and modernising our approach. Changes to how we deliver our services will be subject to consultation with employees and trade unions, and any future changes will be agreed by elected members.”

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