PARKING wardens are back in force in Uttoxeter with a raft of new powers after last year saw a dramatic drop in the number of tickets handed out.
The Post and Times reported in October how tickets handed out in town had dropped 800 per cent in the space of a year.
Parking chiefs have admitted there had been a ‘slight drop’ in the number of wardens in Uttoxeter but also said motorists were complying better with parking regulations.
And they have now launched a Community and Civil Enforcement team of 12 officers who will act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of East Staffordshire Borough Council.
The team will engage with the town to find out about environmental issues, educate people to keep their community clean and ‘enforce the law where necessary’.
Their day-to-day duties include littering and waste disposal, dog control matters and investigating noise complaints.
Council enforcement services manager Andrew Wainwright said: “We had lots of different people going out doing different tasks when we could have a multi-skilled team that could do a range of enforcement activities to make our services efficient and effective.”
Another key part of their role will be ensuring pavements and public walkways are clear of obstructions like bins left outside after collection day.
New community and civil enforcement officer Deb Salt said: “It’s really exciting times for the team. We’ve got more strings to our bow and have been trained new areas.
“We now feel we can offer a better service to the people of East Staffordshire. It’s nice to go home every day knowing you’ve helped.
“The variety is the best thing as no two days are the same and we have much more remit to engage with communities.”
Chris Taylor, another new officer, said: “One day we’ll be dealing with dog control issues, then we might be on general patrol or dealing with parking enforcement.”
Sonja Andjelkovic, deputy leader for regulatory service, said: “The team will also look to promote civic pride throughout the borough, aiming to encourage everyone in the community to take pride in their street, village or town, their local park or open space and to contribute to ensuring it is safe, clean and green. If everyone could do their ‘bit’ it would have a fantastic impact on their local environment.”