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We are dismayed that Lincoln City Council plans to axe the commons warden service for the Lincoln Commons. The council is seeking the views of members of the Lincoln Commons Advisory Panel and the society, along with many other members of the panel, has written to object.
The council claims that the closure of the service would save the council £38,000 a year, towards the overall budget deficit of nearly £3 million.
Says Miriam Smith, a member of the society and of the commons advisory panel: ‘The Lincoln commons are important open-air public assets within the city boundary and must be cared for. Since his appointment, the Commons Warden has done valuable work in improving the infrastructure and safety of the commons. Although some of this work may continue, it will be much more difficult without a “man on the ground”.’
Adds Kate Ashbrook, our general secretary: ‘Lincoln’s commons are of exceptional importance, extensive green spaces close to the heart of the town which have remained relatively unspoilt for centuries. They provide inspiration and recreation for Lincoln’s residents and workers. The council should treasure these unique assets.
‘We are dismayed to learn of the council’s plan to axe the warden service. This, at relatively modest cost, ensures the commons are well managed, safe places for people to enjoy, clear of crime and litter. The service is a vital investment—without it the commons would deteriorate and become unpleasant places which people no longer wish to visit. Whereas at present they are something in which the city can take pride, they could so easily become an embarrassment. And the council would merely be transferring costs to other bodies and departments—such as the police and health service.
‘We have told the council that such a cut would be shooting itself in the foot. We urge it to maintain this excellent service which does the city proud.’