Petition prompts Lincoln council to reconsider scrapping urban rangers

Plans to withdraw Lincoln’s three urban rangers in order to save money could be scrapped, thanks to a petition from city residents.

The City of Lincoln Council is looking at ways to save £1 million from its budget, which includes withdrawing urban rangers.

Removing the three posts would save the council £383,000 over the next five years, plus another £157,000 with the closure of the Commons Wardens Service.

At a Policy Scrutiny Meeting on March 20, a petition to keep the urban rangers, signed by 1,200 people, was presented to members, along a presentation by campaigners.

After hearing residents’ concerns, the committee recommended to the Executive that withdrawal proposals should be rejected, and instead consider a joint urban ranger and Commons warden service.

Councillor Ric Metcalfe, Leader of the City Council said: ““We understand people’s concerns about the closure of any service and these are difficult decisions for everyone.

““However, the reality is that we have been put in a position where it just isn’t financially viable for us to continue to provide all the services we would like to at the level the people of Lincoln deserve.

““Reluctantly therefore, after a thorough reappraisal of all our services we are faced with considering these decisions in order to make the council financially sustainable for the future.

““We believe the leisure and sports service area is one where we can work with other partners and the many organisations that already exist in the city to maintain and develop provision that is accessible to everyone in the city.””

The council also hopes that other organisations in the city and volunteers will help monitor Lincoln’s green spaces if the posts are scrapped.

The City of Lincoln Council must make the savings through the next financial year, plus a further £3 million in savings by 2017/18, due to reduced Government funding.

As well as withdrawing Urban Rangers and Commons Warden service, it is also considering closing the
Sports Development Service, saving £400,000, remove eight jobs and charge for green waste removal.

The final decision on the proposed £1 million savings will be taken on March 25.