Wrexham Council have offered reassurances that country parks across the county borough will not suffer as a result of recent budget cuts.
From April changes to the management and running of Wrexham’s 11 country parks will come into play, including a reduction in the number of park rangers.
The new model comes off the back of Wrexham Council’s recent difficult decisions and budget process – which saw a majority of councillors vote in favour of implementing a series of cuts to services in a bid to make savings.
Details published about the proposed changes to country parks in the difficult decisions consultation, stated: “It is proposed to reduce the number of park rangers working within the parks.
“The service will be realigned to focus on the safe management of the key park sites (Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr country parks) and further review at our seasonal park facilities.
“Streetscene Service will assist the rangers in the cleansing of the parks. Facilities and staff that are grant supported will continue to be maintained according to the grant criteria.
“The result of the reduction in staff will mean some services including events and school work will be reduced and there will be a new service model developed.”
It is thought these changes and the creation of a new service model for the parks will help make savings of around £100,000 in 2018/19 for Wrexham Council.
However there have been concerns from the public and several councillors that the conditions of Wrexham’s 11 country parks will be put at risk and that there will be a reduction in the events that are on offer.
There have also been questions about the future of the animals at Tŷ Mawr Country Park, with some raising concerns that animals will no longer be kept at the site due to a reduction in park rangers and money.
On Wednesday Wrexham Council offered assurances that the new model forward from April is “seen to be both sustainable and manageable – whilst continuing to provide a quality experience for visitors.”
Wrexham Council say that the 11 parks will “most certainly continue to be open to the public, and with support from Streetscene staff they will be maintained and landscaped, and weeding and planting will still take place, as will grass cutting and mowing.”
It has also been reiterated that animals will remain at Tŷ Mawr, with plans future investment going into the small animal and pet enclosure.
Details released by Wrexham Council also continue onto state: ” We will also continue to promote and work with local farmers to bring in sheep and cows for grazing to provide visitors with the farming experience.
“Friends and Association groups will also continue, as will the Junior Rangers, and we will continue to work with community councils to explore opportunities going forward into the future.”
It has also been stated that activities will take place over Easter in Acton Park, Bellevue Park, Tŷ Mawr, Alyn Waters, Ponciau Banks and Nant Mill; along with the return of Music in the Park at Belleuve this summer.
Cllr David A Bithell, lead member for environment and transport, said: “Change is always difficult and as Government cuts continue they will get even more difficult in the future.
“Our model going forward is, I believe, both sustainable and manageable and will continue to provide a quality visitor experience whilst surrounded by stunning scenery.”
Further details about planned events in the country parks can be found on the Wrexham Council website here.