It will see the town’s street wardens dedicating more of their time to dealing with issues in residential areas across Middlesbrough.
The authority’s Executive has approved plans to bring together the existing car parking enforcement, street warden and neighbourhood safety functions.
As a result street wardens and parking enforcement officers would be given overlapping powers that would allow both to deal with anti-social behaviour and issue Fixed Penalty Notices and Parking Charge Notices where appropriate.
Currently the majority of these two uniformed services are deployed in the town centre. For parking this is due to demand but for street wardens it is due to previous political direction to give a visible presence to visitors.
The two clear, yet overlapping roles, would allow the continuation of a town centre presence, based mainly on parking enforcement, but also community-based respondents available to respond to demand wherever it arises in the town, mainly based on street warden activities.
It is envisaged that the integration and the ability to deploy resources more flexibly would allow the service to be delivered with up to six fewer posts, reducing from 39 to 33, generating £140,000 of savings.
The need to develop an integrated enforcement function was included in the initial Change Programme proposals in 2013.
Cllr Mick Thompson, Executive Member for Communities and Public Health, said: “It’s about doing more with less, that is the ongoing theme right across the authority and re-designating the roles and providing a degree of flexibility between them will, I’m sure, go down very well with the wider public as it will see a much more focused approach and a rebalancing of resources beyond the town centre.”
All members of the team would be given the appropriate training to enable them to carry out their newly adopted duties.
Options rejected included improving links between functions, rather than merging, a merger of all functions and also the environmental enforcement and creating one single uniformed role.
The report proposing the changes that have been recommended stated that “the merging of the three identified functions would provide an opportunity to improve the impact of the service, whilst reducing the overall cost”.