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Campaigners sign up in fight against park plans
ALMOST 200 people have added their names to a petition opposing council plans to leave York’s parks unlocked in the space of two days.
City of York Council’s ruling Labour group plans to save £74,000 over two years by not locking parks and stopping weekend working as part of its budget proposals, which will be debated at a Guildhall meeting tomorrow night.
But park users say the move would lead to increased vandalism, litter and antisocial behaviour and cost the council more in the long run through repairs and clean-ups.
A petition set up by supporters of West Bank Park, in Holgate, on the council’s website now has more than 500 signatures, following a surge in support over recent days.
Petitions with at least 1,000 signatures must be debated at a special council meeting. West Bank Park campaigner Becky Seddon said: “There is obviously a great deal of support for continuing to lock parks and we encourage as many people as possible to sign the petition, which ends today.
“The potential cost of leaving parks unlocked must be factored into the expected savings, and there are a lot of concerns from people living next to parks about what these plans could mean in terms of litter and nuisance.”
The council has said it wants to work with community groups prepared to lock and unlock parks and meetings are being arranged with “key users” in March and April.
It said any moves to leave parks open will be introduced in phases so the impact can be monitored, adding that not locking parks was established practice elsewhere in Yorkshire, including Harrogate, Ripon, Bradford, Sheffield and Wakefield.