Warning Covid Marshals could 'overstep the mark' amid role extension to 2023

28 April 2021, 09:06 | Updated: 28 April 2021, 18:14

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

There has been a warning council employed Covid Marshals could end up "overstepping the mark" and "moving beyond the powers they have."

With the prospect of a new army of Covid Marshals being recruited which could see them in place until 2023, LBC's Nick Ferrari examined the issue.

Hertfordshire County Council is among those advertising for Covid Marshals, with the local authority offering a contract worth an estimated £3 million to a provider that can supply 60 marshals from July 1 until January 31 next year.

The contract also comes with a possible one-year extension to 2023.

"Why the hell do we need these Marshals?" Nick asked.

Setting out the details of the potential scheme it was clear Nick was not in favour.

In its description of the Marshals' duties, the contract notice reads: "Provide practical support to aid and encourage compliance, such as dedicated staff in public areas, business support, or support for individuals."

It continues: "Introduce measures to aid public and business awareness and understanding of regulations and guidance."

Duncan Simpson from the TaxPayers Alliance warned that while local councils will have set out with good intentions there was a danger the roll could spiral out of control.

Mr Simpson said with the prospect of restrictions relaxing he was "concerned" that the plan to recruit these roles speaks "to some of the worst instinct of councils."

He told LBC his concern was that Covid Marshals could end up "overstepping the mark" and "moving beyond the powers they have."