Merton reviews its park-locking policy

The London Borough of Merton has reversed a decision to leave a number of parks unlocked overnight after the move earlier this year sparked outrage in the community.

The council currently locks 20 parks at night to kerb anti-social behaviour. But plans to scrap the locking service were announced in February as part of measures to cut £1.4m from the parks department budget by 2014. The £57,000 a year saving will now be raised though scrapping a vacant position.

The U-turn came after local residents and friends' groups raised concerns about the negative impact of leaving the parks unlocked.

Environmental sustainability and regeneration councillor Andrew Judge said: "We have started consulting on alternatives such as automatic gates and seasonal locking on a park-by-park basis."


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