Rangers will be employed to cover a host of functions in off-street car parks and public spaces in Warwick district in a cost cutting move.
The district council’s executive this month gave the go ahead for the authority to create the generic ranger role to carry out off-street car park management, reassurance for service users, sign posting, resolving operational issues and various enforcement activities including issuing parking fines and penalties for littering and dog fouling.
The idea is that by having a more visible presence in the area’s parks and public spaces that there would be a reduction of crime and an increase in safety and that by bringing the service ‘in house’ as opposed to paying for contractors there would be an increase in efficiency and effectiveness.
This could lead to an annual saving of £45,000 compared to the cost of current arrangements.
The new approach has been supported by Warwickshire Police, for whom Supt Debbie Tedds said: “This is an exciting initiative and one that we will be keen to support.
“I can see significant value, not only in terms of financial savings, but in creating further opportunity to engage with local communities and visitors to the district.”
The 18 rangers will be trained and employed from the existing number of civil enforcement officers and will work in shifts on seven days a week.
The full service will be in place by April next year.
Cllr Dave Shilton (Con, Kenilworth Park Hill) who is responsible for policy on neighbourhood services, said Warwick district’s parks and publics spaces were already safe and clean but that the rangers would further enhance this.
Cllr Shilton said: “This is our way of saying to people ‘ come in and see how nice are parks are and that there are people on hand to make sure they stay that way’.
“I’m looking forward to this, it will benefit not only the public but the economy and the landscape of our area.”