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MP backs neighbourhood wardens for Storrington

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Left to right – Carol Boniface, Nick Herbert and Vanessa Green.
Left to right – Carol Boniface, Nick Herbert and Vanessa Green.

Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has given his strong backing to plans to employ neighbourhood wardens in Storrington & Sullington, pointing to the success of the scheme in neighbouring villages.

The neighbourhood warden scheme is run by Horsham District Council.  Last month Greg Charman, the Council’s Community Safety Manager, presented the scheme to Storrington and Sullington’s residents.  The Parish Council is now considering the merits of the scheme and assessing whether there would be local support to increase the parish precept to fund two wardens. 

The Parish Council will be sending a consultation card to every household in the village to gather local views.*  Residents have two weeks in which in to respond.  Feedback from the consultation will inform the Council’s discussions at its next meeting in August.

Last November Mr Herbert met Pulborough’s two wardens, Carol Boniface and Vanessa Green, and praised their work. He said he was “immensely impressed” by their community engagement. Carol and Vanessa have been wardens to Pulborough and Nutbourne for two years.  Based in the community, their role includes activities from enforcement to community development.  They work hard to promote community cohesion and stem anti-social behavior.

A warden’s remit is tailored to best fit the area in which they operate. For example, in Pulborough the wardens carry out high visibility patrols to deter crime as well as dealing with environmental issues which affect quality of life, such as dog fouling.  They operate a ‘prevention is better than the cure’ philosophy.

The Chairman of Pulborough Parish Council, Ray Quested, said that employing wardens had a “profound effect on the village as a whole from within all age groups.”  He reported that residents were “seeing and reporting the benefit of their presence”.

There is strong local support for wardens in Steyning, Bramber, Upper Beeding and Ashington, where villagers have voted to continue funding their wardens through their parish precepts.  It is expected that the scheme would cost Storrington and Sullington residents around £17 per household, typically less than £1 a month per person.

Mr Herbert said: “I am a strong supporter of neighbourhood wardens.  I can see the benefits in other villages in my constituency where they have been a great success and have strong local support. I welcome Storrington & Sullington Parish Council’s decision to consult on a scheme and I would certainly encourage residents to support wardens.

“Wardens are not a substitute for police officers, although I know that Sussex Police welcome the scheme, but they can really help to deal with issues like antisocial behavior and community reassurance.  It’s significant that every village which has taken on wardens has decided to retain them, for many years in the case of Steyning and Ashington”.

*Editors note: We originally reported that the consultation cards had already been sent out. This is false and are not due to be distributed until the end of June.