Bowling greens to face the axe in £1m North East Lincolnshire parks cuts plan
CLOSING bowling greens, reducing grass cutting and introducing a mobile parks maintenance team would save the council £370,000, it has been revealed.
Proposals to “rationalise” the grounds maintenance service were announced yesterday as part of £1 million cuts from the parks budget.
Bowling greens and croquet lawns at Laceby, Healing, People’s Park and Greenlands, New Waltham, are at risk of closure.
NELC hopes facilities can be transferred to parish councils and other interested parties, but if none come forward, they will close to “protect other services”.
Discussions took place with some bowling clubs last year, as reported, and these will continue.
A statement from the council read: “A decision to not remove greens at Sussex and Barretts recreation grounds and Haverstoe Park has been taken as they form part of a move towards the development of hubs for sports development.”
Meanwhile, the daily locking and unlocking of some parks and open spaces is “no longer sustainable”, according to the authority. It has stopped immediately at: Duke of York Gardens; Bradley Woods; St Christopher’s (Jubilee Playing field); Cleethorpes Country Park; Cleethorpes’ King George (Taylor’s Avenue); Roval Drive, Immingham; and Mount Pleasant, Waltham.
“We may need to resolve issues around by-laws and covenants at Haverstoe, Sussex and Sidney parks but the intention is to stop this practice as soon as possible,” NELC’s statement read.
“We plan to put in measures to restrict access, such as knee rails and drop-down bollards.
“To maintain these areas in the future, a mobile team will be set up to visit parks daily to carry out routine maintenance.”
The majority of grassed areas will continue to be cut as normal but NELC intends to reduce or remove this service at some sites, for example in Laceby Road and Weelsby Road.
“We will also be creating wildflower areas or woodlands in areas such as Westward Ho open space, Bradley Hollow and Sunningdale/Turnberry Approach, Waltham,” said the statement.
“We are looking to reduce the frequency of cuts in some areas, such as Peaks Parkway and A46 Bradley Cross Roads to Morrison’s.
“Historically, shrubs, hedge and roses bed maintenance has been maintained to a high specification. With careful planning, we intend to continue reducing or remove this operation around the borough, such as Morrison’s Roundabout, Love Lane Island and Toll Bar Roundabout.
“We will use alternative methods, such as creating wild flower areas or community woodlands, or return areas back to grass.
“Work will continue to convert some of our more formal flower displays into low-maintenance sustainable planting areas.”
The number of tubs and hanging baskets around the borough will also be reduced.
As reported, the council must make savings of £58 million up to 2015-16.
The Council's detailed note of proposals
Bowling Greens & Croquet lawn at Laceby, Healing, People’s Park and Greenlands New Waltham are at risk of closure. The Council is looking to retain a number of core “hubs” and concentrate resources on maintaining these facilities. In making this decision the Council has also looked at income generation from each site, other local provision in that area, and also if the site would lend itself to being taken over by Parish Councils or other providers. For example we are in discussions with New Waltham Parish Council and Healing Parish Council regarding the possible transfer of facilities. We also need to engage with interested parties in a similar vein for the People’s Park and Laceby sites to see if there is an appetite for alternative arrangements to be found- if no interested parties come forward then the facilities will have to be closed to protect other Council services. Provisional discussion took place with some bowling clubs last year and these now need to be progressed further.
A decision to not remove Greens at Sussex and Barretts Recreation Grounds and Haverstoe Park has been taken as these facilities form part of a move towards the development of a number of proposed hubs for sports development. The future of these sports pavilions forms part of a longer term vision, and there may be a need to allocate funding to carry out a backlog of repairs to ensure the buildings are in a reasonable state of repair.
Cease Locking/Unlocking Parks and having Static Attendance on site
We have a number of Parks and Open Spaces that have been locked and unlocked daily through our Park Attendance service at a significant cost the authority. This is no longer sustainable. We may need to resolve issues around bylaws and covenants at Haverstoe, Sussex and Sidney parks but the intention is to stop this practise as soon as possible. We will stop providing this service immediately in the following parks: Duke of York, Bradley Woods, St Christopher’s (Jubilee Playing field), Cleethorpes Country Park, King George Cleethorpes, Roval Drive Immingham and Mount Pleasant Waltham. As part of the future arrangements we plan to put in measure to restrict access such as knee rails and drop down bollards. This has been proven successful in other areas such as People’s Park. To maintain these areas in the future a mobile team will be set up to visit parks daily to carry out routine maintenance, again this has been piloted in other areas of grounds maintenance and proven to work.
Reduce Grass Cutting Frequencies/Amenity/Rural
The majority of grassed areas will continue to be cut as normal. However, historically all grassed areas around the borough have been maintained to a high specification to add value to the local amenity. With careful planning we intend to reduce or remove this service at some sites around the borough (for example at Laceby and Weelsby Road Spinnies). We will also be creating wild flower areas or community woodlands in areas such as Westward Ho open space, Bradley Hollow and Sunningdale/Turnberry Approach Waltham. We are looking to reduce the frequency of cuts in some areas such as Peaks Parkway and A46 Bradley Cross Roads to Morrison’s due to the bulbs planted that need time to die back so annual displays can be maintained, and may only cut vehicle site lines in some rural areas in order to maintain road safety (areas to be identified). All other amenity and highway verges across the borough will be maintained to existing frequencies.
Reduce Shrub/Hedge Maintenance
Historically Shrubs, Hedge and Roses bed maintenance around the borough has been maintained to a high specification. With careful planning we intend to continue reducing or remove this operation at sites around the borough (such as Morrison’s Roundabout, Love Lane Island and Toll Bar Roundabout) and remove grass and formal planting with low growing shrubs. In addition we will use alternative methods such as creating wild flower areas or community woodlands in many areas or return areas back to grass. (for example Rosemary Way Cleethorpes)
Reduce the Civic Floral displays within the resort
Work will continue to convert some of our more formal flower displays into low maintenance sustainable planting areas. For example this work has already been completed in areas such as : Cleethorpes Sea Front, Nunn’s Corner roundabout, Bradley Island, Municipal Offices and Doughty Centre. Some high profile areas will however be maintained as formal planting.
Reduce Gateway Displays (Flower Tubs and Displays)
We will be reducing the number of tubs and hanging baskets located around the borough. However we will be maintaining displays at key entrances to Grimsby (Lock Hill & Cleethorpes Road Flyover) and Cleethorpes (Isaac’s Hill). Tubs and baskets will no longer be provided in areas such as Birchin Way, Bargate/Abbey Road Junction, Riverhead Square and Cleethorpes Road (Humber Street to Park Street). However there will be displays maintained in the resort, Scartho and Haverstoe wards, Grimsby Town Hall and PeaksParkway/Weelsby Road as these are funded by ward Councillors, In Bloom Committees and the Chartered Trust.