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2010年9月24日星期五
Loss of parks job a 'backward

EXETER Parks Watch has appealed to local councillors to step in and reinstate a vital post in the city's parks' department.

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Members of the group claim that cutting the post of events organiser is a backward step.

Sue Lawrence, chair of Exeter Parks Watch (EPW), told the Echo the biggest stumbling block for people wanting to put on small events in parks was the cost of public liability.

She said: "We have been given a grant of Pounds 500 which will buy two years of public liability for ten events each year.

"That money came from the city council's My Neighbourhood Project. But from September the council is cutting the post of Crystal Carter, who did an absolutely brilliant job of facilitating events on behalf of residents, helping with risk assessment forms and so on.

"We feel very strongly about this -- Fashion Hair Jewelry it is a backward step. We have written to councillors to say this is a big, big mistake."

EPW was set up eight years ago with the aim of working with the police and the city council to rid parks of antisocial behaviour, making the parks better, and getting residents out into the parks.

Mrs Lawrence said that in these respects significant progress had been made, adding: "We cannot afford to lose these gains at a time when people may have less disposable income and parks become an even more important local resource. "Recently we have had requests from residents to have small events in the parks -- but what do we say to them now? They won't get any help from the council."

St Thomas ward councillor Rob Hannaford said: " I think this post should be reinstated.

"Crystal Carter has done a wonderful and excellent job, and was always full of tremendous enthusiasm for community projects and increasing residents involvement.

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"Exeter's parks and open spaces are hugely important for the city.

"They are and vital for everybody's health and well-being, and they also enhance social cohesion."

A city council spokesman said: "The event organiser post was a temporary three-year appointment until the end of August 2010.

"The post had always been intended to be largely funded from the income that was generated from events and sponsorship.

"Despite the excellence and enthusiasm of the position's holder, the income targets were never reached and therefore, regretfully, the post could not be continued.

"We are pleased, although not surprised, that the post-holder has found alternative employment, and we wish her well in the future.

"She has left a legacy that we will continue to cater for in events in the city's parks and open spaces."

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