It's being claimed that parks in Lincoln could become "no-go" areas if plans are approved to scrap the 'Urban Rangers' who police them.
A final decision on the future of the Rangers is being made at a budget meeting this evening, as the council attempts to save nearly a million pounds. But residents say scrapping the team will lead to more drug use, vandalism and crime. Kate Hemingway reports.
Savings totalling nearly one million pounds have been agreed by City of Lincoln Councillors, which will mean the closure of the Urban Ranger and Commons Warden services. Officials tonight approved the steps as part of efforts to balance this year’s budget.
The City of Lincoln council says its being forced to make front line cuts because of drastically reduced Government funding.
The leader of the council says he's also angry about the situation - given that he helped set up the Rangers just a few years ago.
– Cllr Ric Metcalfe - Leader of the City Council
"This is a direct consequence of cuts in Government grant. It means that excellent services like the Urban Rangers service are going to be affected. We can't make that scale of savings without services being affected."
John Shipton from the Long Leys Residents Association says he is worried that if the urban rangers go, there could be an increase in anti-social behaviour and crime in Lincoln's parks. Council bosses will decide tonight whether to withdraw the service as part of a cost cutting exercise.
The future of "Urban Rangers" will be decided at a meeting in Lincoln tonight, as the city council attempts to save nearly one million pounds from its budget. The Rangers, who patrol around 60 green spaces across Lincoln are used to help keep things like anti-social behaviour under control.
Council bosses are deciding whether to withdraw the service, along with that of the Commons Warden. Withdrawal of both services would save the council around 500 thousand pounds over five years.
A final decision will be taken today on plans to save nearly one million pounds from the Lincoln City Council's budget. One controversial proposal is to charge for green bin collections.