Warden system will no longer be profit-driven - Herrera

Local warden system will no longer be driven by commercial interests, junior minister José Herrera says on forthcoming reform.

Addressing a consultation meeting on the local enforcement reform, parliamentary secretary for local councils, José Herrera said that the country was "one step closer to having a fairer and more transparent system."

Although Herrera did not confirm whether the system will be nationalised, the junior minister hinted that a complete overhaul in the system's administration was on the horizon.  

Citing occasions when local wardens descend on particular events such as village feasts which attract large crowds, Herrera said that local enforcement should not be driven by "commercial interests," but the law should be enforced in a fair and transparent manner.
In a meeting organised in St Paul's Bay, Herrera addressed residents, local councilors and stakeholders, explaining that Malta's local warden system is in the process of being reformed, 14 years after it was first introduced.

Abuse and discriminatory actions by the wardens were among the prevalent issues brought up by the residents and local councilors who intervened during the consultation meeting, with one St Paul's Bay resident insisting that wardens were not being allowed to carry out their job freely due to interference.

In reaction, Herrera reassured that education and training were one of the government's key objectives in the reform. "After holding talks with unions and other stakeholders, all wardens will retain their job, however they will undergo a training programme, which will ensure that they are prepared to render a fairer and more transparent service."

Describing the current system as "expensive," Herrera explained that the Labour administration is implementing its electoral pledge to "carry out a positive reform."

"I believe that we can offer better a better service based on past experiences which should first and foremost safeguard the people's interests while creating a sustainable and efficient service," Herrera said.

He added that over the next two months, government would be holding a series of consultation meetings with councilors, residents, local wardens, the police, the business community and all other stakeholders.

The new system aims at reducing costs by 20% and become more efficient in collecting some €18 million in unpaid fines, which mostly goes to the company running the system.

"After holding this consultation process we will be in a better position to take decisions which are natural," Herrera said, hinting at the nationalisation of the system.

Currently a private company, Guard & Warden Service, runs the gamut of local enforcement services, deploying wardens to the councils, monitoring CCTV systems and also processing speed camera fines.

One of the white paper's key proposals is that of empowering the local enforcement system management committee (LEN) to create a centralised unit which would enforce laws delegated to the five regional committees. This would effectively transfer the administration of local wardens from the private company to an "independent" unit.

However, the white paper proposes a major change in granting the current management committee that runs the local enforcement system, the power to create a centralised unit to enforce the laws delegated to the five regional committees.

This means effectively taking on the administration of local wardens, from the private companies currently providing the manpower for the local councils.

On the uncollected fines, Herrera said that one of the possible solutions is to making it a criminal offence not to pay fines issued by local wardens.

He pointed out that a substantial amount of unpaid fines, "amounting to millions," were issued to foreigners who visit Malta with their own vehicles and leave without paying. Herrera said that the government was looking at a number of solutions, including a system which would not allow the foreigners to leave the country without paying their traffic fines.  

Former Kalkara mayor and the government's consultant on the new centralised unit for local enforcement, Michael Cohen explained that the new system will see local council benefit from the money collected from fines, which at the moment are mostly absorbed by the private sector.  

One of the proposals could see the creation of eco-wardens. Stressing that less than 1% of fines were being issued over environmental offences in the central and northern region, Cohen and Herrera explained that the local wardens' structure will change, with officials receiving different training. 



Naf b'kaz fejn persuna harget il-karooza mill garage ipparkjata fuq stage tal-korrozi sakemm taghlaq il-bieb tal-garage u kif iddawwar wicca tara warden jiktbila citazzjoni. Fl-istess triq u fl-istess hin xi erbgha karozzi kienu ipparkjati fuq bankina li ma jhallux spazzju ghal persuna li tuza ahseb u ara kemm se tghaddi mara b'pushchair u allajbierek il-warden ma lemmahhomx.
Mr Herrera what are you going to do with the rumours that Gozitan Wardens have a habit of citing outside visitors more than they do Local Gozitans? As a matter of fact these certain wardens go looking for outsider's vehicles on purpose. We have read many times that this is the case in Gozo, our beloved sister island.
Sammy Cutajar
Wahda mill oggetti importanti li Dr.Herrera jrid jaghmel huwa li hemm bzonn ta wardens wara inzul ix-xemx ghax nahseb li jaf li hafna mill kontrovenji jsiru minn dak il hin sa fil ghodu. Per ezempju minn jipparkja fil BUS BAY fl'istejg ta Agira, gewwa Haz-Zebbug, meta tal linja tkun sejra lejn id-direzzjoni ta Sciortino. Minhabba f;hekk tal linja ma tkunx tista tipparkja mal bankini KIF SUPPOST u wiehed meta jinzel jhoss l'gholi. Il parkjar illegali u doppju fit triq Sciortino huwa vera rampanti u tal misthija li hemm anarkijja shiha. Nispera li mhux paroli biss (ghax xbajt nizma) izda naghaddu ghal fatti.
"all wardens will retain their job, however they will undergo a training programme," << >> Prosit Jose' (one of the movers in this Administration.) Also kindly allow some common sense to filter down the ranks. It would achieve a world of good.
Dr Herrera, as a lawyer you know that Article 45(1) prohibits a law which is discriminatory eirher in its provisions or effects. There is no question that the reserved parkign schemes are DISCRIMINATORY because they discriminate against those who are not from the locality. They are therefore ANTI-ONSTITUTIONAL. Furthermore, Article 45(2) prohibits anyoen from discriminating against any other person on the basis of any law. Therefore, the local councils, the wardens and their companies and the Justice Commissioners who decide these cases are also flagrantly applying a law on the basis of which they are discriminating against those who are not from the loality. YOU all know about it. So why have YOU and the other MPs who as LAWYERS ought to know about the law and the Constitution and shoud have prevented the reserved parking schemes from being impleented have not, as yet, repealed them all? Why are YOU and the other MPs allowing the people to be ROBBED by the local councils, wardens and their companies and the Justice Commissioners? All those MILLIONS of Euros STOLEN/ROBBED from the citizens because of these DISCRIMINATOY AND ANTI-CONSTITUTIONAL reserved parking schemes are on YOUR and the other MPs conscience Dr Herrera.