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Community Self-help Road Warden Scheme - from the Parish viewpoint Featured

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Community Self-help Road Warden Scheme.

Broadclyst Parish Council is frequently asked about the road warden scheme. Following the announcement by DCC of a further £102,000 to suport the Scheme and associated publicity on BBC Spotlight and Radio Devon, we felt it would be useful to other Town and Parish councils who are considering taking this up to upload a short article about how it has worked for us, giving a parish point of view of the Scheme.

This scheme was first introduced in 2015, with Broadclyst Parish being one of the first Local Councils to adopt it.
The Community Road Warden (CRW) is the Point of Contact between the local community and DCC, with duties including co-ordinating volunteers, arranging / ensuring adequate training, securely storing materials and progressing works arising.
CRW’s are nominated by Parish Council, trained by DCC and work to an agreed methodology so that repairs are carried out in line with DCC standards.
The parish council will need to carry out a risk assessment before any repair is actioned.

Parish Council Commitment:
The Parish council is required to:

  1. Register for the Road Warden scheme
  2. Determine works to be done
  3. Take responsibility for delivery of kit and materials
  4. Demonstrate safe and secure storage of materials
  5. Provide insurance cover during the works

DCC Commitment
The County Council will:

  1. Undertake 3rd party liability insurance for the repair
  2. Train volunteers
  3. Produce method statements
  4. Supply materials

Training for volunteers
In order to carry out works near or on the Highway, a basic level of City and Guilds Chapter 8 training is required to carry out work. DCC is currently funding CRW’s to go through Chapter 8 training, which qualifies him/her to work on the highway and use traffic management. The ticket is valid for 5 years; it is unknown at this stage what will happen in 5 years' time when it is due for replacement.

Type of works
Road Wardens are able to carry out weeding, sign cleaning, drain clearance, grass cutting, finger post signage repairs, hedge cutting, potholes/small surface defects and work with partners to carry out surveys (ecological, geological, historical)
Under current legislation the CRW can supervise other volunteers working on the highway but currently only at the ratio of 1:1 however there is talk of getting this extended so one trained person could oversee a gang of maybe 3-4 people

Insurance
DCC will insure the finished repair providing it has been done in accordance with their methodology and using their approved materials but the liability for the Community Road Warden (CRW) whilst he is carrying out the repair rests with the parish council. The parish council must have £10 million public liability cover when undertaking highways work; individual insurance companies will be able to advise on their own policy.

Tools, equipment and other costs
Local Council’s will need to purchase signage, cones, barriers etc. as well as PPE (personal protective equipment). It may be possible to source external grant funding for this and budget in replacement costs. Safe storage, maintenance and replacement of tools and equipment will be the responsibility of the parish council. you will need to provide and budget to replace as required.
There is a time-cost to the Parish Council both in terms of volunteer co-ordination and management, and in carrying out risk assessments/completion records of repairs enacted.

Materials
PPR (Permanent Pothole Repair) is approved by DCC Highways and comes as a pallet of 52 tubs. The product has a relatively short (6 months) shelf life and for smaller parishes a whole pallet would be too big a quantity. Clustering and collaborative working with neighbouring parishes could provide a solution, enabling the competitive pallet price to be retained. Storage will be the responsibility of the parish council. With the extra funding for the Scheme now secured, some materials will be available from DCC along with guidance for use and storage.

Further information about the Scheme and contact details for DCC Highways can be found here

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