community wardens culling by rbwm

Cllr Davey RBWM Budget Speech 2021-22

5% of Royal Borough residents have tested positive for COVID-19

We’re told the Tory Administration’s interim key priority is COVID-19 and top of the Medium Term Financial Strategy list is “Impact of COVID-19”, yet one of the biggest budget cuts is to be the RBWM Community Wardens?

Potentially reducing their public facing team by over 50%!

This decision doesn’t make any logical sense, the Community Wardens have had a huge positive impact helping residents throughout COVID.

I submitted a budget proposal to the lead member but have heard nothing to date. At the very least, we need to find funding until a proper impact assessment on losing them has been done.

Lead Member, Cllr Cannon, at the last cabinet meeting stated that the Police were comfortable with the budget plans to lose a significant number of the wardens. It would help us to see their letter to appreciate the context.

Ask yourself:

  • Who do Residents call when they need one to one help?
  • Who do the Police call when they need some local backup support?
  • Who do Cllrs call when they need a resolution to a problem?

The RBWM Community Wardens, that’s who.

Rural Parking suddenly got removed at the last cabinet meeting with the lead member saying “our experts in finance will find a way!” Turns out it was taken from the anticipated underspend when we were being told money needed to go into reserves? Seems to be one rule for the Tories and another for the opposition?

Financial jiggery pokery? Spin? Whatever words you choose, it is less than transparent. I’m so bored of this approach by the Tory Administration and so are residents.

Who do Residents call when they need one to one help?

  • Community Wardens help the most vulnerable residents, who tend not to be digitally savvy, identify council services they can access
  • Community Wardens help residents with neighbour disputes
  • Community Wardens help residents with local COVID related issues

Day one of COVID, who were the council team on the front line?

RBWM Community Wardens, that’s who.

Libraries need to be treated with much more respect. Reducing budgets year on year when they can actually evidence they generate 700% added value from every £1 they are given? Which other council departments can do that… Do other departments measure that deeply?

Telecom companies are putting up 5G masts all over the area which could have added over £200k to the budget but apparently they don’t have to pay for putting up 20m masts… that doesn’t feel right?

Who do the Police call when they need some local backup support?

I hope every Cllr appreciates at any moment in time there is only ONE PC on duty for the whole of Windsor with 3 or 4 PCSOs… how did we get to this sorry state?

  • Community Wardens help the Police with COVID tasks
  • Community Wardens help the Police with County Lines
  • Community Wardens help the Police with community relations

Who were the main team on standby to deal with potential flood waters?

RBWM’s Community Wardens, that’s who.

I understand the £7m for Vicus Way Car Park could be moved to fund the River Thames Scheme Infrastructure Project if there was a willingness to do so.

Braywick Leisure Centre, promised only months ago to come out cost neutral, is currently showing a £10m loss.

I asked for more information on the £4.5m for affordable housing at the start of Feb from the Lead Member… still waiting!

Who do Cllrs call when they need a resolution to a problem?

  • Community Wardens have helped me with Sutherland Grange
  • Community Wardens have helped me resolve resident issues
  • Community Wardens have helped me with intel and problem solving

Just last week, car drivers were ignoring road closed signs on Dedworth Road. I alerted highways, the police, lead members, lead officers and others… who was it that responded and found solutions?

RBWM’s Community Wardens, that’s who.

The £3m parking loss is rather a round figure. Laying the ground for the 22/23 Budget PR machine to jump into action as tourists flock to Windsor during the summer, lockdown or no lockdown.

Personally I think we should save the libraries and the community wardens and add an extra £600k to the parking losses?

Here’s a really brave idea, in line with the World Economic Forum’s strategy to encourage Global Leaders to make the most of the COVID opportunity for a global reset… announce a referendum on the council tax.

We need more income, it’s that simple.

There are only so many financial instruments that can be created before you have to be honest with yourself and admit previous administrations got it wrong and call a referendum.

You can’t keep cutting services to balance the budget, you need to increase income but first, but first, you need to grow some of what this administration is lacking…

The scariest moment is just before you start… be brave Cllr Johnson, instruct your Administration to do the right thing.

Thank you.

Jon

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