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Ealing and Northfield

Park rangers

Tonight, as a result of the call-in by both Tory and LibDem political groups supported by a number of residents’ 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.

6 replies on “Park rangers”

Cutting rangers isn’t the biggest issue going. Why don’t you stick up for poor residents who are having to fork out nearly £1 per week for the privilege of being able to park outside their own houses. Daylight robbery! Stick up for them. You professed to be the motorists’ friend – so PROVE IT!

Zeb,

I have done a lot of work on highlighting Labour’s raid on motorists. For instance see here:

http://philtaylor.org.uk/?p=4141

The Tories proved that they were not willing to tax motorists unfairly. In four years in power we left all parking charges in the borough unchanged.

The rangers are central I believe to the reason why many people choose to live in Ealing. We are the greenest borough in London and our parks are a great draw. The rangers help us to keep the parks up.

After the last local elections in Ealing you stated that you (the Ealing Conservatives) had listened, but clearly you had to listen harder in the future. I fear that you are not listening, instead you aer picking up the louder shouts that are echoing from the crowd. Rather than seeking to govern on an equitable basis and exercise a duty of care to the resident of Ealing you are engaging on issues that are not major to the bulk of Ealing’s residents, a “zeb” says. The park rangers clearly have not pulled their weight and have funtioned more as a political army for the Ealing’s eco-nutters and Marxist-“ecologists” rather than in providing responsible stewardship for Ealing open spaces. The closure of disabled and mental health centres is criminal and how the hobby-arty priviliged of Ealing can justify pushing an arts centre forward in the Town Hall in this economic climate makes one wonder if they live in the same world as us. To discover that is a £1 million sum of money available to build a dance studio in the basement of the town hall when the Albert Dane centre was “closed because it was not fit for purpose” is completely unbelievable.
Wake up!

Jeff,

You are not being fair. The Ealing Conservative group have campaigned at least as hard, I might say harder, on the issue of day centres as we have on rangers. Both are important though very different issues.

In particular we have pointed out that the council is not being very honest about closing day centres. The revenue cuts are secondary to them compared to getting hold of the land these facilities sit on so that they can implement their property strategy and build new council offices.

It is quite easy to see how the existing facilities could be passed on long leases to the voluntary sector and new services for users, paid for often with personalisation money, could be provided.

Labour are not looking at these options because they want the land. The Tory group has worked hard to raise this issue.

On the subject of a dance studio, the figure is not £1 million and it comes from Section 106 money from St George which is specifically allocated to community facilities. The plan is that the dance studio will be a good use for under used space at the Town Hall and actually generate revenue which can be spent on other things.

Thank you for clarifying Phil. I can only comment on what I know which is what I read in these blogs. If it were not for these blogs I fear that none of this information would come to light.

I do wonder though, if the dance studio is specifically allocated to community facilities then could it not be used for a day centre for the disabled. For once situated somewhere that is easy to get to using public transport.

The park rangers have failed to impress (viz. Walpole Park) and I cannot see the cost/benefit of envirocrime compared with simply clearing up.

What is sad about all this is how the least able to express themselves are baing denied what is their due. I find this all very un-socialist from a party that is meant to be socialist. If fact, I really cannot make sense of what the Labour leaders trying to do.

I think that it is a forgone conclusion that Ealing’s Labour Council will be out of power at the next election. They have broken many promises. However, whether the alternatives will be any better is the question that arises from this situation. The continual decline of Walpole Park regardless of administration remains regardless and there is no sign of Ealing Council in its administrative (non-elected) capacity showing any signs of being able to even keep it clean and the fish alive, let alone running it to any satisfactory standard.

Jeff.

Jeff,

You talked about Walpole Park. One of the things we kicked off whilst I was in charge of the parks was the Parks for People bid which the new administration is pursuing. I hope this will result in a signifiacntly improved park. I also ensured that proper work was done to reinstate the grass in the park after events. You may have seen tractors spiking and applying sand to lighten the soil earlier in the winter (although I note that they have left sand on the path near the playground).

I think the fish story is a bit of an urban myth. First off the only reason there are fish in the pond is that they have been bought in as eggs on birds’ feet. The pond has not been stocked in recent times. If there was a die-back it was penny numbers of fish. I always reckon if the photos show a couple of fish then the number is a couple!

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