Murky Depths

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Greenwich, Greenwich borough, Woolwich

Greenwich Council consider private security wardens in town centres

Greenwich Council’s cabinet are to consider a report this week looking at using private security in areas such as Woolwich Town Centre.

The report states outsourcing to a “third party” though in reality that’s almost certainly a private company. If approved, the report proposes income from fines would be split 50-50.

That split would only occur however after a selected provider receives sufficient income to meet their quote for establishing the service. It could be, if enforcement is poor, that the council sees little.

Directly employed wardens seen in Woolwich

In addition, the company would provide ICT systems resulting in: “A nominal cost
per RBG issued ticket (£20) will be payable to the provider for the above service.”

At the end of the town centre report it states: “The use of 3rd party enforcement patrols would be on a cost neutral basis”.

There is no mention of commission for outsourced enforcement.

Parking precedent?

This deal would follow in the footsteps of outsourcing parking enforcement in many areas of the borough managed by the council’s Housing Department. That contract was awarded in 2014 and renewed in 2018 – and sees no income from fines given to the council.

This area of Abbey Wood has seen pavement parking daily for many years. Despite numerous reports enforcement does not occur

It’s also been a disaster in terms of enforcement – with numerous problems in the same areas happening for many years with no change.

Same spot

It’s actually a net loss to taxpayers, as the authority regularly installs ever more street furniture and street clutter obstructing pedestrians due to almost non-existent enforcement via the privatised contract.

Privatised parking enforcement

Operating at “no cost to the council” is missing out on the chance for greater income to improve streets and public spaces.

Town centre security

Despite the issue not yet being considered by Greenwich Council’s Cabinet, a procurement process, invitation to tender and preferred supplier has already been agreed.

The project is expected to run for 12 months if agreed with an option for another 6 months.

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7 Comments

  1. Jo

    Hardly what one would expect from a Labour council though as often said, some in this Labour council would wear blue rosettes if they lived in Kent. You don’t have to be hard left to see that.

    Couple that to financial mismanagement and it won’t be the taxpayers of Greenwich borough who benefit from this. I wonder if other authorities sign away so much income to private companys?

    And good luck getting people in Woolwich to cough up to a private security feller in a hi-viz.

  2. Definitely worth a try! And might the warden also either fine or warn people purposefully dropping litter and cigarette butts – a huge problem throughout the Borough.

  3. Fate Amenable To Change

    Sounds like Corporate Fascism.

    They could also carry electric cattle prods and stun anyone who “looks different’ …

  4. Ashley

    The parking strategy in the Royal Borough is clearly inadequate and not fit for purpose. Surprisingly if you managed this process rigorously in the first place you wouldn’t have half the problems you see daily on the roads. A stronger presence is needed. If any other London Borough can do it why can’t Greenwich? Most of these councils outsource their parking services and receive significant revenues back to fund much required projects. Such as Public Realm improvements.
    This authority squanders funds on wasteful projects, News propagandas ETC. Royal Greenwich as no direction and there is a greater need for CHANGE in administration.

    So it won’t surprise me if these contracts for other means aren’t in the Boroughs interests nor revenue making.

  5. Graham

    Totally agree with you Ashely, sSo much money lost and wasted by the current administration why the most vulnerable people in the Borough suffer.seeing cuts to front line services services which affect the vulnerable the most. It is time for change !!

  6. GreenwichRes

    I don’t understand what their remit would be nor what powers they would have. If there is inadequate security in public places the council should be having a word with the police not seeking to line the pockets of private companies.

    • fromthemurkydepths

      If it’s like bexley pouncing on the most vulnerable dropping bread for birds and the like. Everyone else tells them to F off as no power. In Greenwich we could well have private workers penalising the easy targets, putting people off visiting and retaining most or all the income.

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