Written Answers. - Traffic Wardens.

David Stanton

Ceist:

171 Mr. Stanton asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the number and location of traffic wardens, if any, employed by his Department; the job description for traffic wardens; the plans, if any, he has to re-deploy these traffic wardens to local authority control; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10397/99]

Joe Higgins

Ceist:

181 Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if he will defer the transfer from his Department of Dublin's traffic wardens, due to take place on 29 April 1999, in view of the fact that the transfer has not been agreed by the wardens and Dublin Corporation has made it clear that it is its intention to radically scale down the traffic warden service; and if more time for discussion will be allowed. [10543/99]

Joe Higgins

Ceist:

182 Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform if a memorandum on which a Government decision, and the text of that decision, on the transfer of responsibility for traffic in Dublin to Dublin Corporation was based will be made available. [10544/99]

Joe Higgins

Ceist:

184 Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason it is proposed that 146 trained uniformed Garda civilian personnel, for example traffic wardens in Dublin, be transferred to Dublin Corporation which has stated that it will radically scale down the traffic warden service in view of the National Crime Forum which refers to relatively few civilian staff being employed to free gardaí from non-police functions. [10546/99]

Joe Higgins

Ceist:

185 Mr. Higgins (Dublin West) asked the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform the reason he has not made an offer of adequate compensation to the traffic wardens for loss of their office as authorised persons under section 103 of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, in view of the stated intention of Dublin Corporation to encourage as many redundancies as possible among the traffic wardens whom it is proposed to transfer from the Department to the Corporation. [10547/99]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 171, 181, 182, 184 and 185 together.

Traffic wardens in the Dublin metropolitan area are employed by the Garda Commissioner and their number and location are set out in the following tabular statement.

The duties of a traffic warden include, amongst other duties which may be assigned to them by the Garda Commissioner, patrolling any area assigned to them and to issue ‘fine on the spot' notices for offences under the Road Traffic Acts, 1961, as amended which relate to the prohibition or restriction or the stopping or parking of mechanically propelled vehicles, offences under Section 73 of the Finance Act, 1976 which relate to the non-display of current (licence) disc, any other offences which may be declared by the Minister for the Environment and Local Government to be subject to fines on the spot.

At the outset, I should state that the transfer of the traffic warden service to Dublin Corporation which is due to take place on 29 April 1999 will give effect to the Government decision of 26 July 1995, which gives responsibility for traffic management in Dublin to Dublin Corporation. This was recommended to the previous Government by the then Minister for the Environment as part of the Dublin transportation initiative plan.
The plan recommended the appointment by Dublin Corporation of a director of traffic to be employed by Dublin Corporation, who would take over responsibility from the Garda for traffic wardens, on-the-spot fines and the tow-away services, introduce wheel clamping and have overall responsibility for traffic management in Dublin city.
The question of making available the memorandum and the Government decision to the Deputy is a matter for any colleague the Minister for the Environment and Local Government and not a matter for my Department. I should add, however, that Government decisions and memoranda are confidential to the Government.
All 144 traffic wardens, currently employed by the Garda Commissioner are being transferred to the corporation. They are State industrial employees and can, therefore, be transferred within the public sector. The traffic wardens are being transferred with the functions they discharge to a local authority, i.e. Dublin Corporation. I might add that this transfer will bring the Dublin metropolitan area into line with the rest of the State whereby local authorities employ traffic wardens under the Local Government (Traffic Wardens) Act, 1975.
All traffic wardens were notified by the Garda Commissioner earlier this month that they will transfer to Dublin Corporation on 29 April 1999, thus implementing in full the previous Government's decision in so far as the traffic services are concerned. It is my intention that this date is adhered to.
Prolonged and extensive negotiations between my Department, the Department of Finance, Dublin Corporation and the unions have already taken place. A joint offer by the Garda Commissioner and Dublin Corporation under the PCW pay agreement was made to both unions last December which offers the traffic wardens on their transfer enhanced pay and conditions over and above what they currently enjoy. Earlier today the unions sought further clarification on a number of issues which are primarily matters for Dublin Corporation and a meeting is being arranged over the coming days to deal with this.
The Deputies will appreciate that the terms and conditions of the employment of the traffic wardens with Dublin Corporation, including the issue of any potential voluntary redundancies, are solely matters for the corporation as their future employer. There is no question of compensation being paid to traffic wardens on transfer. I also wish to emphasise that the PCW proposals offer the traffic wardens enhanced pay and conditions over and above what they presently enjoy.

Garda Station

Number of Traffic Wardens

Blackrock

4

Balbriggan

1

Blanchardstown

1

Clondalkin

2

Clontarf

5

Donnybrook

6

Dún Laoghaire

7

Dundrum

4

Finglas

2

Fitzgibbon Street

31

Kevin Street

13

Pearse Street

41

Parking Fines Office

14

Malahide

2

Rathfarnham

2

Rathmines

4

Swords

1

Tallaght

1

Terenure

3

Total

144