VideoMore towns and parishes sign up as Road Wardens

Community Road Warden

Posted on: 10 February 2017

New recruits are joining the growing ranks of Devon County Council’s Community Road Wardens.

Around a quarter of town and parish councils in Devon have now either signed up as Roads Wardens or have been trained or are waiting for training as part of the scheme.

Community Road Wardens can carry out a range of duties including minor work such as weed clearance, grass cutting, sign cleaning, small drainage work, and minor road repairs. They act as their town or parish’s primary point of contact with the County Council’s local Neighbourhood Highway Officers.

So far, 22 towns and parishes have signed up to the scheme, with 33 people from those areas having received Chapter 8 training, which teaches how to create a safe environment for highway work.

A further 67 people from local councils and other organisations (including District Councils, Community Payback Scheme supervisors and local community organisations) have undertaken Chapter 8 training with 37 more booked, or on the waiting list, for training.

Among the newly-trained Community Road Wardens is Ken Browse, from Halberton Parish Council in Mid Devon. Ken is also the chairman of the Devon Association of Parish Councils and vice-chair of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC). He said: “In these times of austerity Town and Parish Councillors can do that extra bit to maintain their areas to a higher standard than would otherwise be achieved by the upper tier authorities due to budget restraints.”

Devon has committed more than £100,000 to its Community Road Warden scheme which enables communities to undertake their local priority work. The initiative was rolled out across the county at the end of last year after a successful trial saw trained volunteers repair almost 200 minor potholes in five parishes and towns.

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cllr Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highway Management and Road Warden for Sidmouth and Sidford, said: “Local councils have been the driver behind this scheme and it’s encouraging to see numbers of Community Road Wardens continuing to grow. Interest in the scheme has also increased following the successful pilot areas where volunteers carried out minor pothole repairs.

“However, signing up to the Community Road Warden scheme is about much more than that – covering everything from sign cleaning to small drainage work. It’s positive to hear how our local towns and parishes are keen to work with us and the Road Wardens complement our own highway work – as they can tackle their own local priorities that we’re unable to get to.”

Devon County Council is still responsible for safety defect repairs on Devon’s highways, and the repair of larger potholes that meet its safety defect criteria.

2 comments on “More towns and parishes sign up as Road Wardens

  1. NIGEL MANNERS says:

    The article is ‘talking up’ the Road Warden scheme somewhat. I reality there are very few active and yes they are very good but with hands tied….. And the cold asphalt in the buckets is not free only the first few. The Parish Councils are being asked to pay for it. Another form of tax on the residents. There are some ‘grants’ that can be applied for but its more red tape on top of free labour. And the reduced budgets apply equally to residents the Highways Dept seem to ignore that completely. The Devon residents pay for a service to be done through the high Council Tax bills and vehicle tax. We don’t pay and then provide the service as well???? or is that ‘expected’ as well. Next time we buy a bus ticket we will be asked to drive put fuel in and wash the bus at the end of the journey ….as well!

    • Thanks for your comment, Nigel. Town and parish councils are able to apply for a share of the £100,000 fund Devon County Council has set aside to support community self-help. They can use this to purchase equipment and the Instarmac material (the cold asphalt), to enable them to receive the tools and material they need at no cost.

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