Plan for wardens to look 'more friendly'
A move to make traffic wardens in Devon more approachable by wearing "friendly colours" has been dismissed as frivolous by a senior figure.
Wardens should ditch their drab black uniforms and be nicer to people on the streets, a car parking report to north Devon district council has recommended.
The councillor behind the idea has suggested that civil enforcement officers (CEOs) should instead be decked out in vivid maroon and white or even all red outfits.
Councillor Frank Biederman, the chairman of the authority's overview and scrutiny committee, said he would also like traffic wardens to become "ambassadors" for the towns in which they patrol, rather than just people who "dish out tickets".
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"I'd like to see them dressed in a more friendly colour, like maroon and white, so they've got a smile on their face and people want to approach them for advice if they need it," he added.
"I think that when people visit our towns and resort locations around North Devon it is nice for them to be met with a friendly face, with people dressed in a friendlier manner."
Mr Biederman also suggested the officers coordinate their uniforms to the colour of the town, such as red when working in Barnstaple.
"Just a colour that is more approachable, and not immediately saying this is an officialdom," he added.
Bert Biscoe, cabinet member for highways and transport at Cornwall Council, was dismissive of the idea and said his authority had better things to spend its money on.
"In the world in which we live, I think members of the local authority should be thinking about more serious things.
"We have got an horrendous financial situation that we are trying to manage in the interests of people who are thinking about surviving, eating, getting their bins emptied, having decent roads and whole load of other things.
"If this is the best a bloke in North Devon can do he really ought to put himself to his electorate whose money he is responsible for."
Coun Biscoe said parking wardens do a "difficult and often unpleasant" job, but it was also a necessary one.
He said residents often "want things both ways" in calling for easy car access but complaining when streets were blocked by car parking.
"In this case there has to be some degree of regulation and parking wardens provide that.
"The people who we employ need to have some degree of protection and part of the official uniform is that it seems to give them protection because people know who they are and why they are there."