A petition has been presented to Parliament calling for the decision to reduce funding for park rangers employed in Wrexham’s country parks to be reversed.
The petition was started by Cefn Branch Labour Party and community members in response to the announcement that Wrexham County Borough Council plan to reduce the number of its country park rangers.
In November 2017 it was announced that as part of the council’s Difficult Decisions budget process a general review of staffing at Wrexham’s country parks would take place.
This would include a reduction of the number of park rangers and the ‘realignment of the service to focus on the safe management of the key park sites on Alyn Waters and Ty Mawr’. Streetscene staff would also assist the rangers with the upkeep of the parks.
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.
Earlier this year the budget for 2018/19 was passed by a majority of councillors, meaning such changes to local parks are now coming into play.
In March 2018 Wrexham Council offered reassurance that the new model for the 11 country parks is “sustainable and manageable”. There were also assurances that the changes would not impact the animal provision at Ty Mawr Country Park.
However on Wednesday the petition calling on the government to urge Wrexham Council to reverse their decision and to recognise that nature parks are an important part of our environmental heritage, was presented to Parliament by Clwyd South MP, Susan Elan Jones.
Commenting on the petition, Community Councillor and Cefn Branch Labour Party Vice Chair, Alex Mitsiaras said: “Our country parks our central to our community.
“They are integral to our local economy and tourism, and they provide a space for our children to explore and learn.
“By removing rangers from our parks the well-being of our animals will be put under threat and the upkeep of the grounds will fall from the high standards currently maintained. It is essential our ranger numbers are maintained to ensure the future of our park.”
Susan Elan Jones MP said: “I was very pleased to present this petition to Parliament. I know just how much hard work has been done towards this excellent campaign.
“We are continuing to see record tourism numbers coming to north Wales and our country parks are among the many fantastic things we have to offer.”