Murky Depths

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Greenwich borough

Greenwich parks to be left unlocked with grass cutting substantially reduced

More details have been revealed in a council report highlighting plans by Greenwich Council to cut services in parks this coming year.

They include reducing grass cutting in most parks from 18 to 6 and no longer locking parks in the evening.

Avery Hill Park – grass cutting could be reduced

The plan states they seek to “reduce grass cutting frequency in parks, except a
small number of high profile sites: Green Flag sites and sport pitches. Current cuts 18 to 6 per year, reduce average frequency per year”.

They hope to save £121,500 per year and cuts would also occur on other grassed areas away from parks. They claim “there is an increasing acceptance and, in fact, demand that the Council does all it can to support biodiversity. Reducing the frequency of grass cutting could help to achieve that”.

Just about the only effort made on many estates is cutting grass – which will now be reduced

“This proposal would reduce the frequency of grass cutting across much of the public realm to respond to public demand and to save costs.”

Unlocked

In regards to leaving parks unlocked they state:

“This will need community consultation so that there is good awareness of the rationale for taking this action. A communications campaign would need to be developed so that there is a good level of awareness of the benefits of providing increased access to our parks.”

Parkland

This news came days after Greenwich Council revealed spending of £1.5 million on parks this year, though it’s now shown to be a one-time only spend. £1.5 million is still less than many councils spend annually from income such as Section 106 and CIL, yet Greenwich Council allocate very little income from new developments towards parks.

Crumbling park buildings

Last year it totalled just 0.3 per cent of Section 106 income – despite millions lying unspent alongside income from the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Plans are due to be signed off by Greenwich’s Cabinet next week. It’s also been revealed that 271 bins for dog waste could be removed in coming months.

18 Comments

  1. Many councils in the North of England sow wild flowers on previously mowed grassy areas. The results are stunning!

  2. EthicsGradient

    “Greenwich parks to be left unlocked”

    That would quite neutralize any positive impact the investment in parks announced the other day would have. 

    Leaving parks open 24/7 will only result in them becoming crime ridden hellholes.

    Saving money by cutting staff on this level is a terrible idea; parks need careful custodianship.

    • Lord Lew Can

      Bang on there EthicsGradient. Leaving parks unlocked at night will simply attract criminal behaviour in all its varieties. An insane decision.

  3. EthicsGradient

    A good example of this situation is Brookmill Park (Lewisham Borough), which has become a no-go area after dark in the last few years. Google it…

  4. James

    Not great news if your house backs on to a park . Thank you very much greenwich

  5. Graham

    This will increase crime and anti social behaviour in Greenwich parks including gangs, drug dealing and drug taking.

    Which could result in those little used silver canisters we see on the streets and used needles left disregarded all over the parks. Which children could pick up and at worse get infected. Which is a very serious Health and Safety issue.

    EthicsGradient is right our parks and surrounding areas will become no go areas.

    Sorry Greenwich Council this is a very bad idea and our parks need to be locked and secured at night. So much for promising £1.5 million to improve our parks and open spaces. .

    You need to find cuts elsewhere possibly by abolishing the Councils free news paper as this can now be viewed on line. Saving the Council even more money which could be put in to front line services and our parks and open spaces to make sure they are safe and secure.

    I think the local Police also need to be consulted on these proposals.

    • Barbara

      Totally agree. The council have just rebuilt the tennis courts in Fairy Hill Park- if the gates are left open they will be vandalised in no time.
      This council wastes money – one example in the large wooden lettering saying ELTHAM at the top of Southend Crescent which apparently cost thousands. What was the point of it?

  6. CDT

    Our parks need to be locked at night. EthicsGradient is right leaving parks open 24/7 will only result in them becoming crime ridden hellholes and no go areas.

    Graham is also right The parks would be used for antisocial behaviour and for drugs etc which could result in used needles left disregarded all over the parks.

    Children could pick up used needles and disregarded drug canisters and at worse get infected as a result. Which is a very serious Health and Safety issue for the Council.

    We cannot allow this to happen to our parks in Greenwich, Otherwise our parks will be ruined for law abiding residents who enjoy using our parks.

    Please think again Greenwich Council.

  7. EthicsGradient

    I know those on the right have a form of ‘historical-trauma’ over this but Greenwich Time, the council newspaper, ended publication in 2016.

    Hence look elsewhere for notional funding.

    The silver-capsules you refer to are Nitrous oxide (laughing gas); harmless if empty, but create a good deal of litter with a rather science-fictional aesthetic to it.

    Can only hope this idea remains in the notional. People need to seek-out and engage with any consultation on this. It is worth doing.

  8. N G Billingham

    When will the Public Conveniences ( Male and Female ) reopen in Greenwich town centre ? It isn’t long since they were refurbished

  9. Greenwich council continues to preside over the decline of the public realm. Let’s hope the council listens and takes on board the strong objections there is going to be to the STUPID proposal of leaving park gates unlocked.

  10. CDT

    Totally agree anonymous 201481.

    EthicsGarident Although Greenwich Time ended in 2016. The council are still producing a free publication under a different name and is now called Greenwich Info. I do not know how much this cost to produce though.

    Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) silver capsules often litter my street and the users of the capsules are a nuisance and often very noisy and in groups.

    I can also see their being a lot of vandalism to park buildings like cafes if they have them if parks are unlocked at night.

    So locking the parks at night might actually save the Council some money in the long term.

  11. Ethics

    I receive this, it’s just a leaflet with housing and community info; nothing remotely approximating a newspaper, certainly not ‘Pravda or whatever; unbridled political propaganda is more readily available in majority of the mainstream press these days.

    “EthicsGarident Although Greenwich Time ended in 2016. The council are still producing a free publication under a different name and is now called Greenwich Info.”

  12. EthicsGradient

    We receive this, it’s just a folded leaflet giving housing and community info, nothing remotely approximating a newspaper. Afraid we’ll all have to default to the majority the mainstream press if we want unfettered propaganda.

    “ EthicsGradient Although Greenwich Time ended in 2016. The council are still producing a free publication under a different name and is now called Greenwich Info. I do not know how much this cost to produce though.”

  13. EthicsGradient

    We get this also. Police couldn’t help much either as legislation is lacking.

    “Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) silver capsules often litter my street and the users of the capsules are a nuisance and often very noisy and in groups.”

  14. CDT

    I really hope Greenwich Council will have a change of heart on these proposals to leave parks unlocked at night.

    The cost of installing street lighting to pathways in the parks that will be open 24/7 will surely be more expensive for the Council to maintain than locking the parks at night.

    I really do fear for peoples safety if Greenwich Council push ahead with these proposals,.

  15. Graham

    Totally agree. I live close to two parks and I am dreading these cuts taking place. I think it will bring areas down and make residents living nears parks lives a misery,

    Not only do with have issues with drugs and r criminal activity of various kinds as already mentioned.

    Another major problem is youngsters on mopeds and small motor bikes in the parks riding with out any due care and attention for any one else.

    Many of the riders do not where crash helmets or have masked or scarfs covering their faces.

  16. Chris Nash

    Lovely bit of spin: leaving parks unlocked at night is described as “providing increased access to our parks”, benefits (aside from not needing to pay someone to lock the gates every day) are naturally TBC…

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