FEARS have been expressed that community wardens which have been in place in the city for over a decade will be moved as part of a City Hall service delivery evaluation.
Community wardens are tasked with monitoring and reporting local authority issues and they liaise with the wider community and with Council staff.
Their role sees them regularly support and attend residents groups, organise community estate clean-ups and support and attend neighbourhood watch or community safety fora.
They also carry out daily walkabouts and report issues such as abandoned cars, litter, dumping, repairs and maintenance that need to be carried out and anti-social behaviour.
There are currently four wardens in the city which serve Togher, Mahon and Ballyphehane; Knocknaheeny, Churchfield and Gurranabraher; Fairhill, Farranree and Blackpool and also the Glen and Mayfield.
Councillor Ken O’Flynn (FF) believes any changes in the location or roles of the wardens would be ill-advised and has urged City Hall to leave the current system as is due to the support networks the current wardens have built up in the areas they work in.
“Changing the way community wardens work and the areas that they work in would be stupid and pointless. You have people that have been entrenched in their local areas for the best part of 10 years and you are talking about replacing them with people that have no local knowledge, no relationship with the local community and no relationship with the local Gardaí.
“Community wardens have always been the liaison between the community and the Gardaí. They are trusted and well-known in their communities.
“I don’t see any benefit whatsoever in moving them around as the work they do is so vital.
“There is absolutely no need for this meddling in community affairs. This matter has also not been brought to the wider attention of council members of Cork City Council.”
A City Council spokesperson confirmed an evaluation process is underway.
“The community warden service is evaluated and redeveloped regularly as part of annual service delivery. This process is currently underway and once complete any changes to the locations of community wardens in the city will be communicated.”