Protect our Community Wardens
Councillor Tele Lawal, Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster writes:
Havering Council recently ran a rigged consultation about changes to enforcement and housing community safety wardens in the borough. They want to realign council enforcement, housing community safety wardens and CCTV teams to work more ‘effectively’ with the Met police. This means that they will all be lumped together to save money.
They claimed that their plans will deliver a more ‘joined up approach to enforcement.’ As an active member of several Havering police advisory boards, I can see how flawed and unfair these plans really are.
Their master plan, called the ‘One Havering Model’, will have housing community safety wardens being scrapped and replaced with new enforcement officers covering all areas of the borough. This includes town centres, streets, parks and housing estates.
Havering Council will still make council housing tenants and leaseholders pay for community safety wardens, which will no longer exist and were only for their housing estates. It will, for them, clearly be a shadow of its former provision as resources will be focussed in Romford.
Under the current model, Havering Council tasks its council officers based on crime data and intelligence. Data from the Met and the Mayor of London’s office shows that Romford has the highest proportion of crime in Havering, mainly due to its night-time economy. It is clear to one and all that the new enforcement officers will be spending most of their time in Romford.
Of course, we must keep residents safe in Romford as that is our problematic area. My question is, how can it be fair that the new enforcement officers will be paid for by only council housing tenants and leaseholders and yet they will serve the whole borough, especially Romford Town?
The reason that community wardens are losing their jobs, and housing tenants will be paying for a service for the whole borough instead of just for their estates, is because the Conservative government has reduced our local council’s funding over the last decade. These cuts in council funding were voted for by Tory MPs Julia Lopez and Andrew Rosindell.
I’ll be making it clear that Havering Council’s plans to make council tenants and leaseholders pay to fund a service they will no longer have, on top of their council tax is not right. This money-saving scheme which will not benefit residents in places like Harold Hill, Harold Wood, Hornchurch and Upminster must be reviewed.
Fair play seems to have gone out of the window here in Havering.