Fear that council's parks plan ‘could cost more’

York Press: West Bank Park West Bank Park

YORK’S parks are at risk of vandalism and litter if plans to leave them permanently unlocked are approved, residents have warned.

Budget proposals by City of York Council’s Labour group, which will be debated on Thursday, include saving £74,000 over two years by keeping parks open around the clock and stopping weekend working.

But supporters of West Bank Park in Holgate and Hull Road Park in Tang Hall claim the move may ultimately cost the authority more in clean-ups and equipment repairs.

They say children could be in danger from broken glass and needles and the sites will suffer from antisocial behaviour and graffiti. An online petition opposing the plans in Holgate now has almost 200 signatures.

The council said it was keen to work with community groups prepared to lock and unlock parks, but leaving them open at night to allow pedestrian and cyclist access at all times was “the norm” in areas including Harrogate, Ripon, Bradford, Sheffield and Wakefield.

Holgate resident and park campaigner Becky Seddon said: “West Bank Park is a really nice, well-maintained green space where a lot of work has been carried out over the last ten years and new play equipment installed at a cost of thousands of pounds.

“We fear much of this hard work will be undone and the park misused if it is left unlocked. We want the council to reconsider, because our park is very important to the community.”

Heather’s Nursery, near West Bank Park, is also backing the campaign, while the council’s Green group has proposed reversing the park plans.

Simon Moss, vice-chair of Tang Hall Residents’ Association, said Hull Road Park “might as well be built on” if it is not locked.

He said: “The council might save money one way, but it will cost them more in other ways – equipment will be vandalised and covered in graffiti, people may use the cover it offers to take drugs, and who will pick up the litter left behind?

“If these plans go ahead, I will be surprised if the park is not ruined within a year.”

Charlie Croft, the council’s assistant director of communities, culture and public realm, said: “Officers are arranging a series of meetings with key users of parks, such as local sporting clubs, residents’ associations and ‘friends of’ groups, in March and April to explore the community appetite to taking control of locking and unlocking parks.

“The move to leave parks open will be phased to allow us to monitor the impact on each site and their surrounding area, and to assess the security of buildings and assets.”

Comments (14)

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8:35am Mon 25 Feb 13

hypnosis says...

Why not ask the people doing community service to do the cleaning in the parks, then they will be putting something back into the community that they have committed crime in, or is this too much to ask of our local newspapper to spearhead a campaign that will upset the politicians excuses. In fact why not make all offenders work for the council and for our city.
Richard
Why not ask the people doing community service to do the cleaning in the parks, then they will be putting something back into the community that they have committed crime in, or is this too much to ask of our local newspapper to spearhead a campaign that will upset the politicians excuses. In fact why not make all offenders work for the council and for our city. Richard hypnosis

9:22am Mon 25 Feb 13

meme says...

good idea hypnosis but I would change the second word..... ASK to MAKE
Why not make them do something worthwhile incuding patrolling if they are safe at night
good idea hypnosis but I would change the second word..... ASK to MAKE Why not make them do something worthwhile incuding patrolling if they are safe at night meme

11:38am Mon 25 Feb 13

working class tory says...

This is typical of a party unable to develop 'sensible ideas' to make savings.

It reminds me of the time they tried selling off Union Street coach park, and look how many times since St Georges has been closed due to flooding - dozens.

I do despair. We need people in council with real business experience, not tax raising Marxists.
This is typical of a party unable to develop 'sensible ideas' to make savings. It reminds me of the time they tried selling off Union Street coach park, and look how many times since St Georges has been closed due to flooding - dozens. I do despair. We need people in council with real business experience, not tax raising Marxists. working class tory

1:01pm Mon 25 Feb 13

El Clinton says...

I've thought for ages that using community payback people to clean the streets and parks is a good idea. The council has no excuses for the state a lot of the city is in at the moment. The amount of litter is horrendous and it's just getting worse. Unfortunately our beloved street environment officers seem to be happy with the situation and refuse to respond to any correspondence.
I've thought for ages that using community payback people to clean the streets and parks is a good idea. The council has no excuses for the state a lot of the city is in at the moment. The amount of litter is horrendous and it's just getting worse. Unfortunately our beloved street environment officers seem to be happy with the situation and refuse to respond to any correspondence. El Clinton

1:18pm Mon 25 Feb 13

I said says...

Using volunteers and community payback to do council work is all good an well but what about the workers facing redundancy. What will they do when they have no employment and there homes are been repossessed. Possibly camp out in the parks that are been left unlocked.
Using volunteers and community payback to do council work is all good an well but what about the workers facing redundancy. What will they do when they have no employment and there homes are been repossessed. Possibly camp out in the parks that are been left unlocked. I said

1:39pm Mon 25 Feb 13

bloodaxe says...

working class tory wrote:
This is typical of a party unable to develop 'sensible ideas' to make savings.

It reminds me of the time they tried selling off Union Street coach park, and look how many times since St Georges has been closed due to flooding - dozens.

I do despair. We need people in council with real business experience, not tax raising Marxists.
Unfortunately it's the idea that paying taxes is "marxist" that is part of the problem with this country and a contributor to social disfunction. What's wrong with paying your membership fee to society ? Your alternative presumably would be for people to pay for the services they use and nothing else. Even in the USA they have facilities paid for by the public as a whole because they are for everybody. Parks are part of what makes life worth living. They belong to us all and we should all be prepared to pay for them.
[quote][p][bold]working class tory[/bold] wrote: This is typical of a party unable to develop 'sensible ideas' to make savings. It reminds me of the time they tried selling off Union Street coach park, and look how many times since St Georges has been closed due to flooding - dozens. I do despair. We need people in council with real business experience, not tax raising Marxists.[/p][/quote]Unfortunately it's the idea that paying taxes is "marxist" that is part of the problem with this country and a contributor to social disfunction. What's wrong with paying your membership fee to society ? Your alternative presumably would be for people to pay for the services they use and nothing else. Even in the USA they have facilities paid for by the public as a whole because they are for everybody. Parks are part of what makes life worth living. They belong to us all and we should all be prepared to pay for them. bloodaxe

2:17pm Mon 25 Feb 13

working class tory says...

@Bloodaxe
Paying taxes is not my issue, raising them due to incompetence of business management is.

It is a 'no brainer' that this idea will end up costing more than they save. But as usual Loony Lefties think they have hit on a 'radical' new concept to save money and it will be us, the residents who will end up paying more and our precious parks will be worse for wear.
@Bloodaxe Paying taxes is not my issue, raising them due to incompetence of business management is. It is a 'no brainer' that this idea will end up costing more than they save. But as usual Loony Lefties think they have hit on a 'radical' new concept to save money and it will be us, the residents who will end up paying more and our precious parks will be worse for wear. working class tory

4:29pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Priapus says...

This is just a cynical attempt by the Council to try and 'shame' the Government.

Loony lefty councils up and down the country are implementing cuts that save hardly any money but ruin things that people care for.

Expect to see all graffiti removal stopped next.
This is just a cynical attempt by the Council to try and 'shame' the Government. Loony lefty councils up and down the country are implementing cuts that save hardly any money but ruin things that people care for. Expect to see all graffiti removal stopped next. Priapus

4:57pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Dr Robert says...

With regards to the foolish idea about leaving the parks unlocked during the night, apart from the vandalism that will occur, play equipment damaged, bowling greens ridden on and dug up, what about the local residents who live near to the parks, do they not matter, we have seen what Labour leader Alexander is capable of already in his short term of office, expect more madness. Reference graffitii, Mr Alexander was gifted a Wipe-out Expert graffiti kit in Sept 2012, by Nordil Pioneer Ltd, he obviously has not used it yet as graffiti I have brought to his attention months ago , still remains.
With regards to the foolish idea about leaving the parks unlocked during the night, apart from the vandalism that will occur, play equipment damaged, bowling greens ridden on and dug up, what about the local residents who live near to the parks, do they not matter, we have seen what Labour leader Alexander is capable of already in his short term of office, expect more madness. Reference graffitii, Mr Alexander was gifted a Wipe-out Expert graffiti kit in Sept 2012, by Nordil Pioneer Ltd, he obviously has not used it yet as graffiti I have brought to his attention months ago , still remains. Dr Robert

11:26pm Mon 25 Feb 13

jgycfc says...

@working class tory:
Marxism is state ownership (OK high level)... It's the Tories that look to sell off state assets. In recent years:
- Utilities
- Trains
- The NHS
to name a few. Why JA thought it was a good idea to try be a Tory is beyond me though.

But agree that not locking the parks was another short-sighted idea.
@working class tory: Marxism is state ownership (OK high level)... It's the Tories that look to sell off state assets. In recent years: - Utilities - Trains - The NHS to name a few. Why JA thought it was a good idea to try be a Tory is beyond me though. But agree that not locking the parks was another short-sighted idea. jgycfc

3:09am Tue 26 Feb 13

Magicman! says...

Why not fit electronic locks on a timer? have an exit button on the inside that is shrouded so somebody outside can't reach around and push it but so anybody inside after the lock activates can still exit... and have a timer fitted so when it gets to 'dusk' according to the clock (some times have a 'solar' feature) the lock activates by itself.

That way if the council are determined to put people out of work at least it won't be a completely pointless exercise that costs more than it saves.
Why not fit electronic locks on a timer? have an exit button on the inside that is shrouded so somebody outside can't reach around and push it but so anybody inside after the lock activates can still exit... and have a timer fitted so when it gets to 'dusk' according to the clock (some times have a 'solar' feature) the lock activates by itself. That way if the council are determined to put people out of work at least it won't be a completely pointless exercise that costs more than it saves. Magicman!

6:40am Tue 26 Feb 13

working class tory says...

@jgycfc:
I know what Marxism is - Your description of Marxism is the outdated unworkable deluded utopian vision of that odious pair Marx and Engels; LibDems are the modern Marxists - 10 pesatas a day for everyone and the desire to transfer every power to the european superstate. Frankly I can't see the point of LibDems at a local level.

You seem to be misty eyed about your national sacred cows.

JA will be wiped out at the next election; I foresee posters with an image of him with Thatcher hair (as happened to the messiah Blair).
@jgycfc: I know what Marxism is - Your description of Marxism is the outdated unworkable deluded utopian vision of that odious pair Marx and Engels; LibDems are the modern Marxists - 10 pesatas a day for everyone and the desire to transfer every power to the european superstate. Frankly I can't see the point of LibDems at a local level. You seem to be misty eyed about your national sacred cows. JA will be wiped out at the next election; I foresee posters with an image of him with Thatcher hair (as happened to the messiah Blair). working class tory

9:23am Tue 26 Feb 13

jgycfc says...

@working class tory - Got me pegged a bit wrong. I doubt there's many people of any party and colour who support JA anymore.

Lib Dems were a joke in York (Hence why even their big cheese got voted out) before the national whipping boys of the Eton Club...

Let's just hope your lot don't get in either huh? Sell off everything state owned to empower the elite few who are their mates :p
@working class tory - Got me pegged a bit wrong. I doubt there's many people of any party and colour who support JA anymore. Lib Dems were a joke in York (Hence why even their big cheese got voted out) before the national whipping boys of the Eton Club... Let's just hope your lot don't get in either huh? Sell off everything state owned to empower the elite few who are their mates :p jgycfc

10:06am Tue 26 Feb 13

working class tory says...

@jgycfc

When we get in I expect there will be a note on Alexander's old desk saying 'there's no money left!'

Elitism is a leftist trait; pessimism is the default trait of the right.
@jgycfc When we get in I expect there will be a note on Alexander's old desk saying 'there's no money left!' Elitism is a leftist trait; pessimism is the default trait of the right. working class tory

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