Communities must ‘share’ warden duties for Elgin

Not all dog owners are this responsible - but while fines are up, wardens are down
Not all dog owners are this responsible – but while fines are up, wardens are down

A COMMUNITY WARDEN vacancy in Elgin is not likely to be filled because of the financial constraints face by Moray Council.

Currently Moray’s largest community is being covered jointly by Community Wardens serving Buckie, Forres, Keith and Lossiemouth – with the region’s community safety officer giving reassurances that quality of service to the public will not be impacted by that.

Community Wardens exist to assist communities in the prevention of crime with a specific local remit to help reduce vandalism and anti-social behaviour. They have a key role in assisting with some of the most contentious situations facing local communities, in particular the growing issue dog mess.

The latter issue was raised at Moray Council recently by Heldon & Laich councillor John Cowe, who highlighted the increase in fines levied against dog owners. He urged Community Wardens to become more active against perpetrators.

However, the 20% reduction in the number of active Wardens was highlighted at a recent community council meeting, where the community safety officer, Willie Findlay, insisted that while Elgin was the largest area they had to cover “it makes sense that we pull together in terms of covering Elgin”.

Mr Findlay said that the four wardens would “take it in turn” to cover Elgin in addition to their existing responsibilities – despite the fact that Elgin incidents dealt with by wardens accounts for over 40% of all reported issues.