Park patrol budget could be cut
New plans to cut the budget for park patrols by £50,000 have emerged, meaning Hyde Park could be left in disorder.
Despite calls for tougher measures to deal with those who left Woodhouse Moor in a state during the recent sunny weather, the slash in funding could see the parks patrol service severely limited.
At the time Gerry Harper, Councillor for Hyde Park and Woodhouse, went so far as to call for on the spot fines for litterers and possibly closing the park due to the mess. However, despite saying he would be meeting with councillors and the police “to discuss what practical steps can be taken to clampdown on offenders”, the budget cut could undermine any effort to keep the park in order.
Councillor Stewart Golton, the Liberal Democrat leader of the Council, exposed the plans, telling the Yorkshire Post:
“It is insincere to talk tough on enforcement, then subject the service that is expected to deliver it to cuts of £50,000.”
Students and residents are divided over how important the parks patrol service is.
Second year English student Katie Fox said: “students should just clear up after themselves” but Dance student Jess Carlton Silva disagreed,
“if the council aren’t keeping the park tidy what are they doing?”
Speaking to Leeds Student, Sue Buckle of the Headingley Community Association said: “enforcement is necessary and the last thing the council needs is more cuts. It’s a false economy because they’ll end up drafting people in from elsewhere to deal with the park.” She added: “I think the Uni could do more and take some responsibility for any mess left by students.”