Residents protest at plans to chop park wardens

Fears over park safety as wardens face redundancy

Concerned campaigners and residents protested inside a park after the council announced plans to axe many of its wardens.

Brent is chopping the equivalent of nine and a half full time posts from the borough’s largest parks, affecting patrols in Roundwood Park, Barham Park and Gladstone Park.

King Edwards VII Park, Roe Green Park, Preston Park and Gibbons Recreation ground will also be affected.

Peter Corcoran, former Lib Dem Tokyngton councillor, warned the job losses will undermine park safety, turning them into ‘no-go areas’ for families.

Mr Corcoran, of Mostyn Avenue, Wembley, said: “As a regular user of both King Edward’s Park and Tokyngton Recreation Ground, I find any reduction in services to be totally unacceptable. The park wardens do a fantastic job for a modest wage protecting visitors from harm and collecting litter.

“I fear our parks will fall into disrepair and will become no-go areas for people wanting to get a few moments of relaxation from a hectic life. Children will be banged up for even longer in front of their computer Parks become too dangerous.”

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However, the council will also increase its mobile parks warden service by three posts, which it hopes will help compensate for the cuts.

Cllr James Powney (Labe: Kensal Green), lead member for the environment, said he was confident park security would be maintained, adding, “We will have a lower number of park wardens but they will still be covering the same number of parks, and be performing the same numbers of patrols.

“The key difference is that we will be moving away from a static service, to a roaming one.”