Brighton park rangers still set to lose jobs

Brighton and Hove City Council has eased off slightly on plans to redesign its park ranger service but several jobs are still on the line.

Brighton set to lose majority of its parks rangers. Image: Pixabay
Brighton set to lose majority of its parks rangers. Image: Pixabay

Six of the nine park rangers in the South East England city were to be made redundant in a budget-cutting move that was announced last year. The rangers received text messages before Christmas informing them that their jobs were on the line, as part of a plan to save the council up to £175,000.

But after local volunteers and Friends groups got up in arms, petitioning the environment, transport and sustainability committee and protesting outside the town hall, local newspaper the Brighton and Hove Independent reported that the Labour council was reconsidering the proposals.

The paper reports the leader of the protesters, volunteer Cliff Munn, as saying green spaces "don't look after themselves" and that the park rangers are central to their management plan. He also pointed out that the rangers are central to coordinating volunteers and keeping them engaged.

However the latest set of budget proposals show the council still plans to save £140,000 through "redesigning" the park ranger service.

The Conservative Group on the council opposes the proposals, saying it is a "false economy" to cut park ranger jobs.

Conservative leader Geoffrey Theobald, who helped bring in the parks rangers service in 2009, wrote in an editorial for the paper that without a properly staffed park ranger service "the army of wonderful conservation volunteers that we have in the city will simply not be able to carry on".

The proposals will be set out at a policy committee meeting on 11 February before the final council vote on 25 February.

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