Hucknall councillor blames government austerity for lack of park security

A Hucknall councillor says areas like Titchfield Park are being maintained and policed to the best they can in the current financial climate.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 2:03 pm

Coun Keir Morrison (Lab), who represents Hucknall South on Ashfield District Council, was speaking after discarded needles were found in the park last week.

A local woman posted a picture of them on the Hucknall People’s Community Facebook page and it drew an angry response from many people, appalled that it had happened.

Mystery surrounds who subsequently cleaned the needles up as neither Nottinghamshire Police, nor a council cleaning team, could find any trace of them when they went to investigate.

Coun Keir Morrison thinks government austerity has weakened the council's hand

The incident led to some posting on the Facebook page for increased security measures at the park.

However, Coun Morrison said this was unlikely to happen while national government austerity measures remained in place for councils like Ashfield.

He said: "There are issues raised by people and as soon as I get any reported to me by the public, I pass them on to the council.

"They do do a relatively good job, they're not perfect but I think they do the best they can given the limited resources available to them.

"Local government austerity has reduced their capacity.

"Once up on a time, in an ideal world, you'd have a security officer for the park patrolling every hour of the day.

"But obviously, that's just not possible, down to the national government's austerity measures on local council budgets.

"In the ideal world, we'd have unlimited resources available to keep these things under control but that's just not possible with budgetary constraints.

"I'm realistic but at the same time, Titchfield Park is maintained as well as it can be maintained, I believe.

"If anything, perhaps the council's environment officers and the police could perhaps get their heads together and perhaps work out a plan to increase patrols or tighten up security.

"We are coming to a point where lockdown restrictions are being relaxed a bit more so it's about making sure people are safe and have confidence in the authorities to maintain the parks to a satisfactory standard."