The council is proposing to mess with the successful Streetwatchers volunteer programme. This has been running for over ten years and there are around 300 Streetwatchers, all volunteers, who help the council to identify fly tips, graffiti and other nuisances. The council has a terrible record on keeping the borough clean having halved the effective Envirocrime service and overseen a nine month period where one quarter of the Boroughâ€™s streets were unacceptably dirty.
This latest move further threatens the cleanliness of our borough and upsets a wonderful volunteer resource. The council is proposing to sack the person who has built this team up and move it from the Streets function to the Neighbourhood Governance function. The volunteers havenâ€™t been consulted and donâ€™t like what they are hearing.
The Conservative group wants to see Streetwatchers enhanced and expanded and we canâ€™t see how removing a lynch pin officer will achieve that. If the council is to change anything it needs to get these valuable volunteers onside first. The lack of consultation with the volunteer Streetwatchers shows yet again how dismissive the council officers are of volunteering in general, remember the way library volunteers were treated.
It should be noted that the council is cutting a frontline officer managing 300 volunteers in preference to the post of the Labour group political advisor who the council tax payers of this borough outrageously paid to go the Labour party conference last year. I know which cut residents would choose.