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To: Councillor Dean Cohen, Chairman, Environment Committee, Barnet Council

Keep Barnet Parks locked overnight!

Keep Barnet Parks locked overnight!

We note the proposal by Barnet Council to remove the current service which locks Barnet park gates overnight.
We believe that the removal of this service is a false economy as it will lead to increased anti-social behaviour including vandalism, as happened in the past when parks were left unlocked. We call upon Barnet Council to ensure that parks continue to be locked at night.

Why is this important?

Many Barnet Parks are currently locked at night. This is undertaken to reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism. Locked parks are often surrounded by residential properties which back onto them. Locking parks increases safety to residents and their property.

Previous experience of not locking parks at nights suggests that there will be an increase in anti-social behaviour and vandalism which will increase rather than save the Council and police service money in the long run. No cost benefit analysis has been undertaken by the Council to demonstrate that real savings will be made.

The Council proposed this measure to keep parks unlocked overnight in a report in November 2018. There has been no public consultation on the matter and it is purely seen by the Council as a short term money saving measure. A final decision will be taken on 14th March at the next Environment Committee.

We call upon the Council to reject this measure and keep Barnet Parks locked and safe overnight.

March Decision Update
Barnet Council's Environment Committee met last night (14th March) and decided by 6 votes to 4 to unlock all parks in Phase 1 (see below) with effect from 1st April; to consult on ceasing to lock the parks in Phase 2 and once the impact of reviewing the position on phase 1 and phase 2 had been assessed to consult about unlocking the parks in phase 3. The savings being sought are £75000.

The Council will only achieve the £75,000 saving once all 26 parks are left unlocked.

A strong case was put that these proposals were counterproductive and in the long run will cost the council more from the costs of dealing with anti social behaviour, fly tipping, vandalism etc. A long debate took place about the car park at Oak Hill Park with a lot of specific opposition to this proposal being expressed. The decision is still to unlock the car park but residents there will continue to oppose this.

There is still along way to go before the Council achieves its objective and I think we should continue to fight them all the way and park by park. With this in mind I aim to organise a meeting of all those intersted in forming a borough wide grouping of interested individuals, Friends of Parks groups, residents associations etc to debate the best way to combat these proposals and to think about how we can work together to protect and enhance our green open spaces in the Borough. if you are intersted in being involved, or just want to receive information about the activities we develop please email:

friendsofcherrytreewood@gmail.com

I also intend to leave the petition on line to increase the number of signatures as much as possible so that we can use it as a basis for taking the issue back to the Council on a regular basis. So please do share it on social media, ask friends and family to sign it. Thank you.
Roger Chapman
Chair, Friends of Cherry Tree Wood , East Finchley.

26 parks across the Borough are currently locked. The report places them in 3 phases.

Phase 1
West Hendon pavilion,
Lyttleton Playing Fields Toilets,
Tudor Sports ground,
Dame Alice Sports Ground,
Friary Park Toilets
Oak Hill Park.

Phase 2
Fairway Playground, Mill Hill;
Stonegrove Park;
Rushgrove Park;
Greenhill Gardens;
Highland Gardens;
Brunswick Playground.

Phase 3
Edgwarebury Park;
Stonyfields Park;
Deanbrook Play Ground;
Malcolm Park;
Kara Way Play Area;
Childs Hill Park;
Basing Hill Park;
Princess Park;
Old Court House Rec;
Ravenscroft Gardens;
Barfield Avenue Play area;
Swan Lane Open Space;
Cherry Tree Woods;
Victoria Park

London Borough of Barnet

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

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Reasons for signing

  • Unlocked parks are a real danger to women walking near them at night - the risk of being dragged in from the street. eg. There is a zebra crossing over Wood Street that is right by the entrance to Ravenscroft Gdns. It may also encourage rough sleepers to sleep in them/set up camp at night.
  • It will be just another area for the police to have to be called to when there are disturbances - which there will be. It will give burglars escape routes and places to hide
  • Following an invasion of Victoria Park last summer it is obvious that public spaces have to be protected. This council is behaving in an irresponsible way. Do they really think it will be fair to local residents and to legislate users of the park to jeopardise our public spaces. Shame on you Batnet another reprehensible suggestion.

Updates

2019-03-12 19:40:42 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2019-02-04 18:46:11 +0000

500 signatures reached

2019-02-02 17:20:54 +0000

A very big thank you to everyone who had signed the petition. It has clearly struck a chord with many people concerned about safety and levels of crime in our neighbourhoods. We now have over 400 signatures which is brilliant. I would like to push this much higher so that we can go back to Barnet at the end of February in time for the March 14th decison meeting with over 2000 singatures.

To do that I need your help.

Please ask your family, friends and neighbours to sign as well and share the petition on your social media networks. You can check out our local park - Cherry Tree Woods in East Finchley at : https://www.facebook.com/cherrytreewoodef but the message needs to get out to people across the borough about this threat to their local park and you can help to do this. Thanks.

2019-01-24 11:33:06 +0000

100 signatures reached

2019-01-23 21:02:04 +0000

50 signatures reached

2019-01-23 19:02:54 +0000

25 signatures reached

2019-01-23 16:38:22 +0000

10 signatures reached