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Haringey Friends of Parks Forum is demanding 'No To Cuts In Haringey's Parks!'. As the Council consults over compulsory staff redundancies, park lovers launch a protest petition against 'unrealistic, irresponsible and destructive' cuts to staffing and budgets.

The Forum have called for the cuts to our green spaces to be reversed if they are not to be plunged into a serious decline in maintenance and management. [50% budget cuts (around 1m). And these massive and shocking cuts are to a budget that is already in the lowest quartile of the budgets for comparable boroughs.]. Already in the last few weeks many groups have reported understaffing and maintenance problems, including a growing failure to provide adequate staff to clear litter. And this is before the Council's threat of making further redundancies is carried out. [The Council is threatening another 15 compulsory redundancies to front line staff, on top of a loss of 5 'voluntary' redundancies and 8 unfilled posts. This would be a total of around 1 in 3 jobs lost to a department that is already understaffed.] Some local staff depots are also facing closure, or being leased out to Veolia for their street cleaning teams.

Parks staff, along with most Council workers, are currently being consulted on the Council's plans for compulsory redundancies - the Council decision is likely to be made on May 19th. Meanwhile members of the main Union, UNISON, have had a vote in all Council departments and are considering whether to take industrial action or not. As a contribution to the consultation exercise the Friends Forum have now produced a protest petition for all Friends Groups (see link above), including a message of support to parks' staff.

Now is the time to let the Council know what the public think! Park users are already beginning to take action - including an action group formed in Bruce Castle Park who've done their own petition to defend their staff and staff depot, a litter collection/photo press release in Markfield Park to embarrass the Council into action, something similar in Fairland Park, and loads of complaints about Chestnuts Park, Finsbury Park and Ducketts Common.

"We are appealing to the Council to use the current consultation exercise with staff to re-consider their position, and to reverse the unrealistic, irresponsible and destructive cuts to parks staffing and budgets." - HFoPF

The petition runs to 30 June 2011. On reaching 2,200 signatures (including on paper too) a debate will be held at full Council.