by timpickstone on January 8, 2013
Bury Council has announced proposals to completely abolish the important Park Ranger service.
We are totally opposed to this proposal from the Council in Bury. We all know that savings need to be made by all public sector bodies in these difficult economic times, but there are other ways the Council could save money without devastating a front line service Â like this. The proposals are currently subject to consultation, so now is the opportunity for us all to try to get our Labour-run council to change its mind on this.
The Park Rangers play a vital role across Prestwich and the rest of Bury. They hold numerous events within the Parks and assist in most of the other Events that make Prestwich such a great place to live in.
They play a vital role in helping local voluntary groups. They work with the Prestwich Clough Day team to put on the Prestwich Clough Day, assist in the running of Bands in the Park, assist the St Mary’s Churchyard Action Group, help support Incredible Edibles, work with the Prestwich and Whitefield Heritage Society in restoring the Flower beds and much of the good work which has been done around the Simister Wetland. What is probably not seen so much is the numerous days they spend either alone or with the Volunteer Rangers improving and maintaining the footpaths, removing blockages to paths and streams and ensuring that our Parks and Country Parks are safe places for us all to enjoy.
At the last meeting of the Council my colleague Cllr Donal O’Hanlon asked a question on the Rangers of the Labour Cabinet Member:
Could the Leader please inform members what events and activities have been supported by the Council’s Ranger service in the last two years?
“The ranger service provides a comprehensive programme of events and activities including summer play schemes, health walks and guided walks, volunteer tasking sessions, safety patrols, dog fouling enforcement and other ranger led events.
The rangers also support volunteers and community groups such as friends of parks, sports clubs and voluntary groups with larger events such as Party in the Park, Prestwich Clough event and Crucial Crew, together with providing support for training, child protection, health and safety and general organisation. The Council is aware of the good work that is carried out by the rangers and volunteers but in these challenging times we have to review how support is provided to the 3rd sector across the Council and what level of events and activities we can afford to sustain.”
In a statement on the subject David Stanley, Chair of the Prestwich Festival and Prestwich Clough Day stated “We are well along with the plans for next years events which heavily rely upon the support of the very staff that the Council are now trying to make redundant. The Clough Day works very closely with Bury Ranger Service in organising the event and the Rangers provide a lot of the logistical support in setting up the day and ensuring that Pop ups, tables and chairs are all in place for both the event and also the Bands in the Park Concerts. This news is very upsetting not only because we know a lot of the people affected who over the years have become friends of myself and my team. But it also causes major problems as the budgetting for the events has been based upon the availability of support from the Ranger Service, which had been discussed and agreed upon with the Bury Parks Service.”
The Council is also proposing to abolish the post of Town Centres Manager, who has been responsible for developing successful events across Bury like the award winning Ramsbottom Chocolate Festival and the Whitefield Halloween Festival. Events like this, and our own Cough Day and Festival here in Prestwich are vital for local businesses and communities. It looks like Bury Council wants to cut out all the fun!
There are two things everyone can do help save the Rangers.
An online petition has been set up where you can register your opposition to the Council here.Â
The Council is currently holding some consultation meetings on its proposals for cuts:
We are currently consulting on the Draft Programme of Savings and we are holding consultation events across the borough:
Sunday 13 January, 11am,
Public meeting, Longfield Suite, Prestwich
Monday 4 February, 6:30pm
Prestwich Township Forum, Longfield Suite
More information and take part online att: www.bury.gov.uk/planforchange