On Wednesday night in the URC hall the Chair of River CC, Tommy Hogg, distributed copies of a letter from the Highlands and Islands division of Police Scotland, it was entitled “Traffic Warden Review” and signed by Chief Superintendent Julian Innes. The letter mentioned the historical background to a review of the service provided by traffic wardens and then went on to say:
“This letter is to advise you that Police Scotland is proposing to withdraw the role of traffic wardens across the divisions where the role still exists. This is to allow Police Scotland to focus on the core activity of keeping people safe. Where parking is dangerous or causes significant obstruction Police Scotland will task police officers to resolve the issue using the appropriate enforcement activity, including parking tickets, other direct measures or prosecution reports.”
Also in the letter, the Chief Superintendent then goes went on to say that he is keen to hear views and gave contact details. There then followed some debate on this matter.
Liz said: “On the ward forum for the 30th of October is the police and fire consultation and any of these matters, it would be a good point to raise them there at the consultation, especially about wardens and the changes to their office hours.”
The conversation then moved on to the prospects of Highland Council taking over the traffic warden duties but it was apparent from what Liz had to say that there was not yet any definite idea about what happens next. Simon Noble asked Liz: “Do you know what Highland Council’s position is in relation to that because there is no information here?”
Liz replied: “I think, so far we were hoping the police would continue on in that role in the Highlands but I think the pointers are that it is going to be on the local authority to pick up the traffic wardens but I don’t think there’s going to be a budget coming across.”
River CC’s Stephanie Whittaker then said in reference to the draft traffic order (see previous Gurn article): “It makes nonsense of all this new parking if it is not going to be policed.”
Fears were expressed that a private company might be given the work as their motivation would be to make as much money as they possibly could from fines etc. Liz agreed:
“I think that would be the concern, they would try and earn as much income as they can to try and cover their costs. It’s not what we are used to in Nairn, we are used to a more relaxed style of traffic management,” she said.