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We are dismayed that Lancashire County Council has said that it will cease to provide and maintain its countryside sites in two years’ time. We have responded to the council’s consultation on the future of the countryside services beyond April 2018.
Of course we understand that the council faces massive cuts, stated to be £262 million over the next five years, but we consider it a false economy to stop investing in the country parks and green spaces.
Wycoller and Beacon Fell country parks are the council’s flagships, and there are numerous other sites, close to urban areas, which provide health and happiness to thousands of people. We believe that if these cease to be available and maintained it will have a devastating effect on the well-being of the population.
People need green spaces and open countryside now more than ever, especially those which are close to home. They provide income to the county and health benefits to its people. The service manages teams of volunteers who are able to expand the work of the county council; it would be tragic if their energy and enthusiasm were to be lost.
‘The council may not have a statutory duty to maintain its countryside sites, but it certainly has a moral duty to do so. We urge the council to protect not slash the spending on its vital countryside service,’ says Kate.