Budget cut leads to reduced presence at Central Park

Coun Gavin Esey, Coun John Peach, Yvonne Lowndes, chairman of the Friends of Central Park with Ian lilley, Steve Woodruff and Arthur Fisher (park rangers) with their new Green Flag EMN-150816-170026009

Coun Gavin Esey, Coun John Peach, Yvonne Lowndes, chairman of the Friends of Central Park with Ian lilley, Steve Woodruff and Arthur Fisher (park rangers) with their new Green Flag EMN-150816-170026009

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Budget cuts will result in a reduced presence at Central Park in Peterborough during the autumn and winter.

A decision to reduce maintenance in parks and cemeteries by 25 per cent was agreed by Peterborough City Council earlier this year as part of its 2015/16 budget to save the council £100,000.

Amey, which maintains the parks on behalf of the council, employs three permanent members of staff at Central Park from April to the end of September and one for the rest of the year.

But with its council funding having been cut it will no longer provide any permanent staff at the park from October to the end of March.

Instead, Amey’s mobile operational teams, which look after the other council-owned parks, will take on maintenance duties at the park during these months.

Central Park has received the prestigious Green Flag rating for the past 13 years which marks it out as one of the best in the country.

Kieron King, Peterborough’s principle operations manager for Amey said: “Central Park will still be attended to everyday, and tasks such as litter picking, emptying bins and clearing leaves will still be carried out.

“Apart from the four operatives based in the city centre, all 89 street cleaning and ground maintenance operatives are mobile which enables the flexibility to respond to operational issues as and when they arise.”

The three Central Park attendants will carry out other work for Amey in the city.

Peterborough MP Stewart Jackson said: “We have got to maintain the park properly, it gets scruffy with litter. They need to review the decision as it’s the jewel of Peterborough’s open spaces.”

A council spokesman said: “We feel, in the face of government cuts to local authority budgets, that this maintains a good service for this Green Flag award-winning park.”