Last chance for rangers petition

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THIS is the last chance to sign a petition in support of Scarborough’s park rangers whose jobs are under threat.

The petition has been organised by the Friends of Raincliffe Wood and Peasholm Park Friends in the hope that the rangers’ jobs will be saved.

It was suggested in a recent Scarborough Council report that the tasks done by the two rangers, who are on call day and night, could be carried out by volunteers.

John Bradley, chairman of the Friends of Raincliffe Wood, said: “We are closing the petition on Monday, so this is people’s final chance to sign it and show their support.

“We’ve had a number of forms returned and I’ve had quite a few emails, but we need to get as many more as possible before the closing date.”

The petition will then be taken by hand to the Town Hall in St Nicholas Street later this month or early next month, where it will be formally received and considered.

Mr Bradley is encouraging people to show their support and ask friends and family to take part too.

He is hoping that other Friends groups will get involved and that leaders will encourage all their members to sign up.

He said: “We are behind the park rangers 100 per cent. They do such an important job and for the council to get rid of them would be a terrible mistake.”

The rangers help with issues such as anti-social behaviour and fly tipping in Scarborough’s parks and beauty spots.

They cover a large area from Sandsend down to Filey.

Scarborough Council’s head of tourism and culture, Brian Bennett, said: “The decision on the future of the park rangers will be included in the budget setting report that will be considered by councillors in February.

“There is currently no funding identified to pay for the park rangers posts from April 1 2011, although we are currently looking at how we might incorporate their duties in the future.

“Results of the consultation and relevant correspondents on the budget proposals will be brought to the attention of councillors prior to decisions being taken.”

The council needs to find savings of £2.5 million in 2011/12 and a further £1.7 million in 2012/13 following central Government cuts to the local authority’s budget.

l If you would like to sign the petition in support of Scarborough’s park rangers, please email your details to jbjohnbradley753@gmail.com or fill in the form on this page.

Completed forms and emails will be accepted until 5pm on Monday.