03:00AM, Friday 08 August 2014
Popular community wardens risk being turned into hate figures by issuing parking tickets, according to one anxious resident.
Dedworth Residents' Association member Franco De Luca accuses Royal Borough bosses of trying to impose the duties of 'hated traffic wardens' on community wardens, who are supposed to provide a reassuring presence in the town.
He warns in a letter to the Express: "This is likely to reduce the effectiveness of community wardens in the our towns, bringing them into confrontational situations with residents, destroying the trust they have built up and eroding their good relationship with members of the public."
His warning has been echoed by West Windsor Residents Association chairman and recently elected councillor Cllr Wisdom Da Costa (Ind, Clewer North).
Community wardens have operated in the Royal Borough for 10 years now - growing in numbers from four to 18.
They can give fixed penalty notices (FPNs) to litterers, fly tippers or selfish dog owners.Last year this was extended to drivers, although only one 'ticket' has been given out so far.
This week Cllr Carwyn Cox (Con, Hurley and Walthams), cabinet member for environmental services, confirmed that one warden was already 'shadowing' one of the borough's parking enforcement officers in Windsor early evenings. He acknowledged this could lead to the wardens issuing more tickets but said they could contribute to controlling traffic attracted by the night time economy.
He said the wardens would always try and resolve any parking issues through dialogue but added: "They have the power (to issue tickets) as a back up."
He said the situation would be kept under review.
There may well be a reaction," he said.
"But if one person says 'the community warden is not my friend any more' there may be 10 extremely happy that he has stopped someone parking inconsiderately putting others in danger."
An independent report into a Conservative councillor has found a breach of the Royal Borough’s code of conduct in a document seen by the Advertiser.