Town Council To Introduce A Community Warden – With The Power To Arrest

haywards heath community warden

A Community Warden could soon be whizzing around the streets of Haywards Heath Town Centre on a Segway, this through a partnership between the Town Council, Sussex Police, and the Southern Co-Operative.

Why?
The possible introduction of a Community Warden comes off the back of changes to the way that Sussex Police operate in the county. The number of PCSOs have been cut and they are no longer designated to set towns.

What The Warden Can Do:
The Warden will have policing powers, including the arrest of suspected criminals and the ability to report incidents quickly into the Police crimes database – helping local business and residents to log their issues and incidents.

The Community Warden will be fully accountable to Haywards Heath Town Council. It is they who will set the areas of work for the Warden. Early proposals include:

  • Monitor local open spaces for signs of anti-social behaviour – Victoria Park, Victoria Skate Park, Clair Park, Beech Hurst Gardens
  • Monitor and assist with reporting business-related crime in South Road, Sussex Road, The Broadway and Commercial Square.
  • Work with Sussex Police to address issues that are identified through crime reporting and statistics.
  • To undertake work on identified  projects in all of the town’s wards as directed by the town council.

The Cost:
In the year one pilot, the Warden would cost £36k (without a vehicle) The fee would be met through funding from the following organisations:
£16,500 from Sussex PCC
£10,000 from HHTC
£10,000 from the Southern Co-Operative.

In year two, the contribution from Sussex Police would be halved, meaning that council tax  for Haywards Heath residents would need to rise by 6% to enable to Warden to remain.

In year three, Sussex Police do not make any financial contribution at all, meaning that council tax would need to increase by a further 3%,  a total rise of 9% over two years.

The Warden will be fully trained and equipped by ‘SWL Security’, a company used by the Southern Co-Operative.

What’s Happening Now?
At the meeting of the full town council on July 18th, members agreed unanimously to the following:

  1. The scope of duties, personal specification and monitoring arrangements for a Community Warden and gave the Clerk delegated authority to amend the documents when necessary.
  2. Ratify the Policy and Finance Committee’s recommendation to introduce a Community Warden for Haywards and allocated £10,000 of unrestricted funds towards the Pilot project.
  3. Delegate authority to the Clerk to enter into legal agreements and funding arrangements with the Co-operative, Sussex Police and SWL security, if and when appropriate, on behalf of the Town Council.
  4. To delegate the ability to amend the scope of work of the Warden to the Town Clerk.

Download The Report
The full details around the proposed introduction of a Community Warden in Haywards Heath are available in a report on the HHTC website which can be downloaded here: http://www.haywardsheath.gov.uk/controls/DownloadDocument.ashx?docID=wi3326KITTSNMWGIIL5648cDxz&aID=4958.

*Secret* Garden Party To Take Place In Victoria Park This Friday

If you’ve been in Victoria Park, Haywards Heath this week, then you may have noticed a group of teenagers armed with gardening equipment in and around the steps leading up to the Plantation area. They are 16-17 year-olds taking part in a 4-week course run by NCS (National Citizen Service) and Groundwork South.

The course culminates in a community project, with the youngsters choosing to carry out clearance work at the plantation area of the park, wishing to make it into a more usable area for young people and families.

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This has involved removing dense foliage around the trees and completely clearing alway all the overgrowth by the steps which leads up to this secluded area. They’ve also been clearing the footpath too.

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Here’s a helpful diagram for those of you who don’t know of the Plantation’s Location!

Secret Garden Party
The result of their hard work will be unveiled with a Free Secret Garden Party that’s taking place this Friday (19th August) from 12:30pm-3:30pm. Local businesses are helping to provide food, with donations coming from Pizza Hut, Domino’s Pizza, with cakes supplied by Victoria Park’s very own Tory’s Cafe. There’s also scheduled to be music along with other fun and games. There’s a Facebook Event page if you seek to know more: https://www.facebook.com/events/1588076278152825/

These young people have been working really hard all week in the sweltering heat, and it would be brilliant to see lots of members of the community turning out to enjoy their efforts and to congratulate them for all that they’ve achieved. See you there!

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Ed Bliss with the wonderful sandwich board created to help advertise the event

Secret Garden Party Victoria Park