Tonight, as a result of the call-in by both Tory and LibDem political groups supported by a number of residentsâ€™ groups, the cabinet has inched back on its cut to the ranger team from 23 to 9. They have put 2 posts back in. So the cut will be 52% rather than 61% in head count terms.
The Tories believe that this a key service in terms of delivering what residents, rather than what officers, want, and therefore have tabled the following motion for the next council meeting on 1st February:
This Council recognises the central role that parks and open spaces play in urban life and the crucial and enabling role of the dedicated team of Park Rangers in making our parks safe, clean, enjoyable and welcoming. Our Envirocrime Officers have an equally valuable role in keeping our streets clear of the effects of fly-tipping and taking action against the perpetrators. This Council therefore deplores the proposed cuts to both the Ranger and Envirocrime Teams, which will see the number of Rangers reduced from 20 to 4 and the Envirocrime Team reduced by 50%.
This Council welcomes and backs the strong public opposition to these proposed cuts as evidenced by the number of community organisations who spoke against the proposal at the 23rd December 2010 Overview and Scrutiny meeting, including the Friends of Blondin Park, Hanwell Community Forum, Brent River and Canal Society, Ealing Friends of the Earth and West Ealing Neighbours.
This Council therefore urges the Cabinet to rethink their decision to savagely cut these essential front line services.
If you want to make your voice heard then you may want to sign up to this petition. It was only put up on 19th January and by 22:52 tonight it had garnered 442 signatures. If it gains 1,500 signatures the matter will be discussed again at a future council meeting.