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Author Topic: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park  (Read 11322 times)

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Dave

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2015, 06:23:36 PM »
I don't think it has much to do with whether Stockport Council is well run or badly run.  Simone put her finger on the issue:
We live in sad political times as far as such things as parks are concerned 

Local authorities suffered a 40% reduction in funding during the five years of the coalition government.  So all LAs are having to make big savings, and they have to come from somewhere - and statutory services such as social care, refuse collection etc, can't really be cut.   So the cuts have to be made in so-called 'discretionary' areas of spending - and that includes parks. 

So the solution is not easy to find.  The real solution, of course, would be to elect a government which values the public domain and doesn't impose huge funding cuts on local authorities. 

marpleexile

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2015, 07:42:43 AM »
Stockport Council is exceptionally well run

I have the misfortune of having to work with various council departments through my day job and can say with experience that no, no it really isn't.

admin

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2015, 10:47:43 PM »
Now there are groups describing a consultation process as a firm plan.

They are firm plans. Read the council documentation and the survey. They are not saying what do you think we should do, give us some ideas, they are saying this is our proposal, what do you think of it. If people don't object then they will do it.

What's wrong with giving those who don't want resources spent on our parks an opportunity to say so.

They do have an opportunity to say so. Read the council documentation and the survey. People can say that it's a good idea if that's what they think.

Or are parks only you be developed according to one persons vision

No, absolutely not, everyone should have their say and we should do what everyone says. The key is to ensure that everyone knows that they have an opportunity to have their say. I will be happy to be shown the consultation results and if more people think it's a good idea to remove the full time attendant then so be it. Similarly, if the majority object I would expect to keep the park attendant. I would add that what I put forward in this thread is not only my view it is the agreed collective view of the Friends of the Park.

Any well run organisation, and Stockport Council is exceptionally well run............

I refer you to my earlier answer. Perhaps you should explain who you are and what your agenda is in saying that? I think people's views of what you say here would be coloured by who you are. In fact I think they would laugh their socks off  :D

wheels

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2015, 10:22:28 PM »
Last month we had 38 degrees raising a petition against the council's plans to close the market. Of course there are no such plans. Last week we had a group saying the council has plans to close Heaton Library. Now there are groups describing a consultation process as a firm plan.

Any well run organisation, and Stockport Council is exceptionally well run,  from time to time reviews how it does things And the service ices it provides. What's wrong with that for goodness sake. What's wrong with giving those who don't want resources spent on our parks an opportunity to say so.  Or are parks only you be developed according to one persons vision

admin

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2015, 09:39:50 PM »
A wet sock can be dried out Phil, find another one and you’d have a pair.

Dictionary definition: A proposal is a plan, a scheme, an offer to be accepted or rejected. Quoting the council’s own documentation: “In order to find possible savings the Council has worked with Solutions SK to come up with proposals in the following areas.”

As explained in the first post in this thread, these proposals include the removal of the full time attendant in Marple Memorial Park, do they not? It is there in black and white. So there are such plans and the council are consulting on them. If nobody objects they will say, “oh look, nobody objected to that, so we’ll do it.” So I think it’s fair to say that these are pretty firm plans unless people object and even if they do it may make no difference.

So my agenda as the originator of this thread, and the agenda of Friends of the Park too, is to raise awareness of the proposal to remove the park attendant and to make sure people understand the potential impact on the their community park. Otherwise most people would be in ignorant bliss of these plans and not realise that there was an opportunity to have their say.

People should not be "frightened" of these proposals but they should be concerned about their impact on their fabulous local park.

So I think it’s clear to anyone but a wet sock that my agenda is to do the best thing possible for the park and encourage people to object to the proposal to remove the full time attendant from it. I hope that it will be as successful as our campaign to keep the park attendant 2 years ago, the first time that this was proposed, as was our similar campaign to keep the park toilets open several years ago.

I think people know who I am and understand what my agenda is Wheels. Perhaps you should explain who you are and what is yours?


The full proposals are here: http://www.stockport.gov.uk/2013/2986/34550/parksconsultation

The consultation is here: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144345117194

The consultation runs until tomorrow, so make sure you have your say!

Phil

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2015, 08:53:43 PM »
Oh wheels, you're silly..... But we wouldn't swap you for a wet sock ;)

RH.

wheels

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2015, 07:16:09 PM »
This really is a disgraceful attempted to frighten people claiming there are plans to do something or implying action is to be taken in the headline of a thread when there are no such plans. All there is is is a consultation process.

The originator of the thread knows this perfectly well and you can only left to wonder at the reasons it's felt appropriate to frighten people. What good does it do or is there another agenda totally that people should be aware of.

Middle wood

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2015, 11:21:46 PM »
Disgraceful behaviour by the council. The Friends of the Park are an invaluable resource that help to keep the park as a wonderful local amenity. We know that the local authority have had and are having significant cuts but, if they are willing to rely on volunteers to deliver services, then they have to include them in decisions. As you say the Friends are key stakeholders.

I'm afraid that I have little confidence in public consultations by the Council. They have been merely a box ticking exercise on so many occasions. However, I sincerely hope that I'm proved wrong with this consultation and have given my feedback.

admin

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2015, 07:00:41 AM »
Rob the Park Attendant for the last 2 years had his last day in Marple Memorial Park yesterday, he has been moved to Bruntwood Park from Monday at very short notice.

Nobody at the council told Friends of the Park what was happening, we found out from Rob himself. We understand that a new attendant will be in the park from Monday but again, the council and SSK has told us nothing so we are not certain of the facts.

It is disappointing that they are making changes without notifying the Friends Group, we are big stakeholders in the park, and also that changes are being made even before the consultation closes and therefore presumably before the results of it have been considered.

Is this a precursor to cutting the full time attendant in the park? Will the results of the consultation be ignored? Unfortunately we don't know because nobody is talking to us.

Whatever the reasons behind this we wish Rob good luck in his new location and look forward to building a relationship with the new park attendant if there is one.

simonesaffron

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2015, 10:10:30 PM »
Apologies, Admin,

For the incomplete post, I can't even blame it this time on my IT ineptitude. I'll be truthful and blame it on the late dinner Chablis.

I meant to say..."I" dread to think what Marple Councillor's front bench will look like, this time next year. 

We have turned our lances into our own Knights.

simonesaffron

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2015, 10:03:16 PM »
It would be a tragedy of epic proportions to all our community if Marple Memorial Park were to fall into neglect.

The FOMMP have done a fabulous job in keeping things going. The Council should be falling over itself to give them funding not considering reducing it.

The problem is in straitened public times, projects like the park needs strong local heavyweight political champions, who believe in it,  and it lost two of its most vociferous supporters at the last election, replaced by what or whom may I ask. Is there anybody in Marple whatever your political colour who thinks that we got a good swap.

Unfortunately the political situation for the park is going to get even worse when we lose two more political fighters for Marple, next year. I

We live in sad political times as far as such things as parks are concerned           

amazon

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2015, 11:11:20 AM »
I contacted @William Wragg on behalf of Friends of the Park about the proposed removal of the full time park attendant in Marple Memorial Park earlier this month and received an email reply to say that he would write to the council to ask them to reconsider. Yesterday, to my frustration, I received a letter from William saying that he has informed the council of our dissatisfaction regarding Etherow Park and has requested that they devise an alternative solution. Etherow Park is NOT having its budget cut next year. Marple Memorial Park IS if the proposals are approved.

I have responded with the reply below to William and our Local Councillors today.

Please help us by doing the same and complete the survey to say that we (The Marple Community) do not want to lose the park attendant from Marple Memorial Park: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144345117194

Dear William (also FAO of Local Councillors),

Thank you for the letter addressed to Friends of Marple Memorial dated 26 October 2015 concerning Etherow Park. However, the Friends nor I have written to you regarding Etherow Park.

The Petition about Etherow Park loosing further funding is not factual and is not helpful either as it is a red herring distracting from the real cuts proposed to local park budgets next year.

Our concern, of which we wrote to you in October (see email below), is the real proposal to remove the full time attendant from Marple Memorial Park. We believe that this will be severely detrimental to the well-being and maintenance of what is currently one of the finest parks in the borough.

Since the budget cuts over the last 3 years Friends of the Park have stepped up to the challenge of maintaining the park with volunteers to the very best standard we can. I think we've been hugely successful, saving the flowerbeds from grassing over and fully taking over the planting and maintenance of all flowerbeds in the park including the ones around the war memorial. We have also completely refurbished all the benches in the park, which were totally neglected by the council even before the first round of cuts.

As I understand it Marple Memorial Park is the ONLY park in the borough to consistently pass inspections. Our group has contributed significantly to achieving this standard but it is not only due to our efforts and the resident park attendant makes a very important contribution to this too.

We regularly liaise with the current "full time" attendant to discuss how we can work together to keep the park at its best. If this role is removed we will loose all direct contact with the front line service in our park and will be unable to coordinate our day-to-day activities in the best interest of the park.

The attendant's presence in the park has already been reduced from 5 days to 3 days without consultation. This has had an impact already but it is a situation that I believe we could live with if we had to. The full loss of the resident park attendant will signal a decline in the maintenance and care for this prize community asset that the Friends of the Park on their own may not be able to halt. It is also possible that it will lead to the demise of the Friends Group if we end up fighting a battle that we believe we can no longer win.

I know that you and local councillors all understand what a wonderful asset Marple Memorial Park is for the community and how hard we all work to keep it that way. I hope that you can all find a way to help us to keep the full time attendant in place, at least for 3 days a week, so that we can sustain and build on what we've achieved in the park over the last 12 years as a volunteer group.

With best regards,

Mark Whittaker
Friends of Marple Memorial Park.
                             This survey is allso available in the civic review doing a paper copy as well would not go amiss .

admin

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2015, 08:08:13 AM »
I contacted @William Wragg on behalf of Friends of the Park about the proposed removal of the full time park attendant in Marple Memorial Park earlier this month and received an email reply to say that he would write to the council to ask them to reconsider. Yesterday, to my frustration, I received a letter from William saying that he has informed the council of our dissatisfaction regarding Etherow Park and has requested that they devise an alternative solution. Etherow Park is NOT having its budget cut next year. Marple Memorial Park IS if the proposals are approved.

I have responded with the reply below to William and our Local Councillors today.

Please help us by doing the same and complete the survey to say that we (The Marple Community) do not want to lose the park attendant from Marple Memorial Park: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144345117194

Dear William (also FAO of Local Councillors),

Thank you for the letter addressed to Friends of Marple Memorial dated 26 October 2015 concerning Etherow Park. However, the Friends nor I have written to you regarding Etherow Park.

The Petition about Etherow Park loosing further funding is not factual and is not helpful either as it is a red herring distracting from the real cuts proposed to local park budgets next year.

Our concern, of which we wrote to you in October (see email below), is the real proposal to remove the full time attendant from Marple Memorial Park. We believe that this will be severely detrimental to the well-being and maintenance of what is currently one of the finest parks in the borough.

Since the budget cuts over the last 3 years Friends of the Park have stepped up to the challenge of maintaining the park with volunteers to the very best standard we can. I think we've been hugely successful, saving the flowerbeds from grassing over and fully taking over the planting and maintenance of all flowerbeds in the park including the ones around the war memorial. We have also completely refurbished all the benches in the park, which were totally neglected by the council even before the first round of cuts.

As I understand it Marple Memorial Park is the ONLY park in the borough to consistently pass inspections. Our group has contributed significantly to achieving this standard but it is not only due to our efforts and the resident park attendant makes a very important contribution to this too.

We regularly liaise with the current "full time" attendant to discuss how we can work together to keep the park at its best. If this role is removed we will loose all direct contact with the front line service in our park and will be unable to coordinate our day-to-day activities in the best interest of the park.

The attendant's presence in the park has already been reduced from 5 days to 3 days without consultation. This has had an impact already but it is a situation that I believe we could live with if we had to. The full loss of the resident park attendant will signal a decline in the maintenance and care for this prize community asset that the Friends of the Park on their own may not be able to halt. It is also possible that it will lead to the demise of the Friends Group if we end up fighting a battle that we believe we can no longer win.

I know that you and local councillors all understand what a wonderful asset Marple Memorial Park is for the community and how hard we all work to keep it that way. I hope that you can all find a way to help us to keep the full time attendant in place, at least for 3 days a week, so that we can sustain and build on what we've achieved in the park over the last 12 years as a volunteer group.

With best regards,

Mark Whittaker
Friends of Marple Memorial Park.

admin

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Re: Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 07:10:20 AM »
With a month to go before the consultation on this closes, please make sure that you have your say on the council's survey:

https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144345117194

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admin

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Council Plans to remove "full time" staffing of Memorial Park
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 07:50:08 PM »
The Council are consulting on proposals that include the removal of "full time" staffing of Memorial Park. This will bring about a significant reduction in the quality of care for the park. "Full time" is highlighted in quotes because they have already recently reduced the park keeper's attendance in the park from 5 days a week to 3 without consulting with anyone.

Here are the proposals:

Quote
Reduce hours at key parks* and remove some permanent staffing completely at specific parks. The work the permanent staff currently carry out will be done by mobile teams operating across the Borough.

Currently 1 full time member of staff works in the following parks*:
Bramhall Park
Marple Memorial Park
Alexandra Park
Heaton Moor, Thornfield and Heaton Mersey Parks combined.

2 full time members of staff work in the following parks:
Torkington Park
Bruntwood Park

The proposal is to remove two full time members of staff taking away one staff member from Marple Memorial Park and Torkington Park.
This would mean that there will be 1 full time member of staff in the following parks:
Bramhall Park
Alexandra Park
Heaton Moor, Thornfield and Heaton Mersey Parks combined
Torkington Park
2 full time members of staff would remain at:
Bruntwood Park

Marple Memorial Park would be covered by the mobile team.

Friends of the Park believe that this would have a serious impact on the level and quality of care in Marple Memorial Park.

If you agree and object to this reduction then please complete the consultation and tell the council that you are not happy with this proposal.

There are other cost saving measures that you may wish to comment on in the survey that do not have an impact on Memorial Park but may effect you in other ways.

The full proposals are here: http://www.stockport.gov.uk/2013/2986/34550/parksconsultation

The consultation is here: https://www.snapsurveys.com/wh/s.asp?k=144345117194

The consultation runs until 16 November 2015.