POLICE Scotland have agreed to continue providing a traffic warden service on Orkney for a further month, following concerns raised by Orkney Islands Council.
Earlier this month the council wrote to Chief Constable Sir Stephen House to express the authority’s “deep misgivings and deep disappointment” about the force’s decision to stop funding traffic warden services on the islands and elsewhere in Scotland.
Local authorities across the country are being asked to take over the operation of the service.
But Orkney Islands Council has now announced that the authority has secured a “concession” that will result in Police Scotland continuing to provide a traffic warden service on the islands throughout January.
A spokesman for the islands council said: “The move follows robust, but constructive, discussions at a national level with senior Police Scotland officers. Scotland’s nationwide police force is planning to remove traffic warden services following a review of how parking enforcement is carried out.
“The council has already expressed deep misgivings to Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and conveyed disappointment about the way the decision has been reached. After the latest talks with the council, Police Scotland has agreed that the discontinuation of the traffic warden service in Orkney will be postponed for a month. This will allow Elected Members to consider a request from Police Scotland that the council fund 50 per cent of the cost of providing the service.”
He added: “A report will be presented to the council’s Policy and Resources Committee on 18 February. This will outline the legal and financial consequences of Police Scotland’s request. It will also consider the implications and timescales for the council if it had to consider providing an ‘in-house’ parking enforcement service.”
Councillor Andrew Drever, chair of the council’s Police and Fire sub-committee welcomed the extension offered by Police Scotland. He said: “The council is presently working through its budget setting process for 2014-15 within a very tight financial position and with a considerable number of its own budget pressures.
“Any request from another public agency such as Police Scotland - to pick up the costs of services which they say they can no longer afford to fund - would have to be considered in the light of the council’s responsibilities for providing our own services.”