Senior councillor slams Police Scotland traffic warden response

Councillor Douglas Ross

A councillor is questioning if Moray Council should take part in future consultations over the management of traffic warden services with Police Scotland.

Fochabers/Lhanbryde Tory councillor Douglas Ross, who heads the planning committee at the local authority, has hit out after receiving what he describes as a “condescending” reply from the head of the traffic warden review team.

Police Scotland is undertaking a consultation exercise over their withdrawing from management of traffic wardens and passing that responsibility on to Councils.

As a result of the uncertain future Moray currently has no traffic warden service, the two existing wardens having retired in November.

Councillor Ross said he had been “inundated” with complaints from business representatives as well as local residents and motorists over parking difficulties, in particular with regard to illegal parking on disabled bays.

Now he has slammed a response from Superintendent Craig Naylor of the traffic warden review team.

Councillor Ross said: “I have to say I found the response from Police Scotland extremely disappointing and if this is how they plan to consult it raises the question on whether it is worthwhile taking part in future consultations.”

He added that it was “quite clear” a number of questions and objections to the plans had been raised in Moray and throughout Scotland – but that Police Scotland had made up their mind before considering the views of stakeholders.

Supt Naylor wrote that councils have been able to consider the decriminalisation of parking enforcement since 1998, adding that in some areas where traffic wardens had been completely withdrawn there had been no significant detriment to the local community.

Councillor Ross said: “In his response Superintendent Naylor, in my opinion, is rather condescending in refuting every concern we put to the review team.

“There was no suggestion that we needed to change the way it was operating in Moray until Police Scotland announced they were scrapping this part of their service.

“Throughout this consultation Police Scotland have been at pains to say officers will continue to deal with dangerous and obstructive parking.  While this is welcome it will clearly rank low in an officers duties if there are more pressing issues to deal with.”

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said last night that the service was continuing the process of informing all stakeholders about the future of traffic wardens where they were provided by Police Scotland.

She added: “Where parking is dangerous or causes significant obstruction, police officers will continue to resolve the issues using the appropriate enforcement activity – including parking tickets, other direct measures or prosecution reports.”

Police Scotland say they will continue to consult through regular dialogue with councils, community councils and members of the public should parking become an issue in any town or city.