Portsmouth councillor hits back at critics over changes in community warden duties

Staff Andrea Pledge, Ellie Hardy, Susan Hazzard and Mary Ramsay celebrating 21 years in Cosham. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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A SENIOR Tory councillor has hit back at critics over a reform of the way community wardens in Portsmouth operate.

Councillor Rob New, who is responsible for environment and community safety, came under fire from the Lib Dems as wardens no longer lock up parks across the city at night due to a review aimed at improving the way they work.

And he criticised party members for making unfounded claims about safety at Wimbledon Park, Southsea.

He said: ‘Specifically relating to the accusations from the Lib Dems, I can confirm that Wimbledon Park has not had any reports from staff, officers, contractors or members of the public about needles or anti-social behaviour since this trial started, and would further challenge the Lib Dems to not play politics with community safety issues. They’ve stated that they’ve received complaints regarding Wimbledon Park about needles from local residents. Yet, they failed to report them to the city council, but choose to put this into a leaflet instead.’