Wales

Two traffic wardens 'not enough' for Blaenau Gwent

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Image caption Blaenau Gwent is one of the last three Welsh councils to take responsibility for parking offences

Two traffic wardens will not be enough to tackle illegal parking in Blaenau Gwent, councillors have claimed.

The council takes over responsibility for enforcement from Gwent Police on Monday, as do Newport and Torfaen.

Newport will employ 14 officers, with five plus a manager at Torfaen.

Highways manager Alun Evans told members the decision to employ two officers was based on Blaenau Gwent's size, population and traffic offences, but said the number would be reviewed.

Blaenau Gwent is one of the smallest Welsh counties by population, estimated at just under 70,000, compared to Torfaen with 92,000 and Newport 151,000.

The two civil parking enforcement officers, each working 26 hours a week, will initially target illegal parking in priority areas such as town centres and schools.

They are expected to issue about 3,500 tickets per year between them, although they will not be set a target.

Warning tickets, rather than fines, will be issued during the first two weeks of civil parking enforcement.

Independent councillor Clive Meredith asked whether officers tasked with littering and dog fouling could bolster parking enforcement.

Fellow independent Stewart Healy said two enforcement officers was "not going to be enough."

Mr Evans said the number of officers would be reviewed once the scheme was rolled out.

The council will also consider whether to add double yellow lines to some streets and remove them from others.

Gwent is the last of the four Welsh police forces to hand traffic enforcement duties to local councils, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

It handed responsibility to Caerphilly and Monmouthshire councils in April.

Caerphilly employs eight enforcement officers, while Monmouthshire has a team of six plus two support staff.

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