Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Community and Regulatory Services
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Kent Community Warden Service (KCWS) has, since 2002, become a recognised and highly valued service to Kent’s communities, helping to create stronger and safer communities – its overarching purpose. The service forms a key part of the County Council’s response to its statutory responsibilities under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 (amended by the Police and Justice Act 2006) delivering a frontline response to local issues in partnership with the other statutory responsible authorities.
Whilst retaining its broad remit, the KCWS has adapted and evolved over the years to effectively build upon the original aims as it responds to local issues including preventing crime and scams, supporting vulnerable residents, tackling social isolation and leading community development activities. The result has been that requests for assistance from various KCC departments, partnership agencies, external organisations and charities as well as public demand has been on the rise. Given the current climate and of course the current COVID-19 pandemic, the demands and need for the service have never been greater.
Enhancement is required to ensure the service is fit for purpose and supported through improvements to efficiency and effectiveness. Expansion is required to meet the existing high demand, which is expected to continue increasing, not just in terms of the progressively complex criminal and societal problems but also as the 65+ population increases by an estimated 24.9% over the next 10 years
The following options have been considered to address the KCC strategic objectives to enhance and expand the KCWS;
1. Maintain status quo and current service as is. (Not recommended - as does not address the increasing demand on the service, the recruitment and retention issues or fit with SDP 2020-23.)
2. Increase frontline warden numbers only. (Not recommended - as expansion would fail to address issues of recruitment and retention, warden job roles and appropriate supervision).
3. Enhance service and then expand as per proposal. (Recommended - to enable service improvements and maximise the impact of expansion whilst meeting the objectives outlined in the SDP.)
How the proposed decision meets the objectives of ‘Increasing Opportunities, Improving Outcomes: Kent County Council’s Strategic Statement (2015-2020)’:
The proposed decision supports all three strategic outcomes as the service’s focus is on the wellbeing of communities and particularly vulnerable residents.
Publication date: 09/06/2020
Date of decision: 09/06/2020
Effective from: 17/06/2020