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Bradford businesses back bid to save city centre wardens
City centre businesses are backing a campaign to save 18 Bradford Council wardens from the axe as the authority slashes £89 million from its budget over two years.
Trade union Unison will today start a petition to save jobs threatened by Government cuts, which the Labour-controlled Council says will force it to make 700 members of staff redundant over that period.
The union says workers in the city centre have already signed up to its campaign, including Lello’s hairdressers, staff at Wilkinson’s and Kelly Lloyd, who runs the Nail Boutique@Blues in North Parade.
Linda Crowther, Unison’s Bradford local government branch secretary, said the loss of the wardens would deprive the district of vital public servants which businesses rely on.
“Our members who provide this service are a crucial front-line help to the police, and other public agencies, to prevent crime and to protect the public,” she added.
“Recently one of the wardens successfully talked down a man attempting to commit suicide by jumping from the multi-storey car park in Westgate.
“They routinely care for vulnerable, elderly and ill people who get into difficulty. They clear snow for elderly people when they are stranded.
“They help homeless rough sleepers to places of safety and help to promote campaigns against litter, street drinking and blue badge fraud.
“They also protect students from harassment, especially by motorists who park up illegally to abuse and proposition young women.”
The union chief said that while wardens are sometimes the target of “public anger” for issuing parking fines, they are “an integral part of creating safer communities”.
“We hope as many people as possible will sign the petition and urge the Council to reject these proposed job cuts,” she added.
Miss Lloyd, of Nail Boutique@Blues, said she liked having the wardens around, especially if there were problems with street disturbances and street drinkers.
“ I know the businesses in Bradford really appreciate the work they do in such an efficient and friendly way and we would be very worried if they went.” The petition will be available to sign outside the Kirkgate Market on Darley Street from 10am.
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