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SALFORD RANGER TEAM CUTS MASSACRE
 

Star date: February 14th 2013

VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE FOR RANGERS IN SALFORD  

For years, Salford Council has been proclaiming its love for the city's green space. Now it's about to end that romance by slashing the Ranger Team which cares for our spaces, from six people to just two, if current cuts proposals go ahead.

And it looks like the two rangers who might be left will be spending most of their time tarting up the area around MediaCityUK, to the detriment of parks and spaces elsewhere in Salford. Alice Searle, from Friends of Kersal Moor, says "people should be very, very concerned"…

Full details here…


Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre
Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre
Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre Salford Rangers Face Cuts Massacre
click image to enlarge

Only two years ago, the Salford Ranger Team had 15 staff. Now there are six. And if the proposed cuts for 2013 go ahead there will be just two rangers left to cover the whole of Salford.

This is the Salford that the Council boasts is `60% green space, 18sq miles of countryside and parks, 6 waterways, 30 miles of rivers and canals, 112 ponds and lakes etc etc…'. There's even a huge pink mural in the Civic Centre reception screaming about it.

Now all those parks, ponds and green spaces could be derelict, overgrown and crime ridden if the Salford Ranger Team which looks after them and brings them to life is almost axed in the cuts.

At the Salford Against the Cuts public meeting last Saturday (see here), two rangers, Jill and Gale, gave a passionate account of what they do and the affect of their virtual disappearance from the sites…
 
"Years ago the Victorians recognised the value of parks for people living in cities, they realised how important is was for people's health and well being, from the very young to the old, and that is why there are so many left in Salford" said Gale "A well cared for park reflects upon the area we live – it is the reason why people choose to live here, and says much about a city's aspirations.

"Victoria Park has a Green Flag award, which is the highest standard a park can achieve, and Clifton Country Park is so well cared for and loved that it attracts over 100,000 visitors every year, many of whom come every day or week - these places are on your doorstep. Parks are for everyone, they are our outdoor leisure centres and are free. But you can't have a leisure centre without attendants, and this is what the Rangers do.

"What is needed are people to support, supervise, and develop the projects which involve and encourage Salford's people" she added "The green spaces need to be cared for, and people need to be involved, to help them respect and understand their environment.

"It's been shown that without this presence in green spaces, the quality of the environment declines with increased litter, fly tipping, vandalism; and these become hotspots for crime and anti social behaviour as they are less cared for. People then fear to go and use them, and that 68 percent of the city which is Salford's green space, then falls into decline."

As Salford Council proposes to slash the Rangers Team, Salford Star has revealed that £150,000 of the remaining parks budget has been used to match funding for walkway and cycle routes relating to Salford University and MediaCityUK, or as a Salford Council report states "The match funding identified for the scheme relates to maintenance costs within the Irwell River Park scheme…" (see here).

In other words, if the cuts go ahead, the rangers will possibly be spending most of their time prettying up routes to MediaCityUK. Even so, this funding is only until 2015-16, so there is a chance that in three years time there will be no rangers left in Salford at all.

"We are very, very concerned about cuts to the ranger service" says Alice Searle of Friends of Kersal Moor, who has written two books on the historical and biological site of importance (SBI).

"Friends of Kersal Moor work very hard with the rangers to maintain the Moor, conserve it, keep it free of litter and to raise awareness within the community with annual events and activities. We cannot do this without the rangers. They are essential."

Indeed, at every single community event in Salford's open spaces the rangers are there, putting up marquees, running children's activities, sharing their knowledge of the environment and enthusing children to get involved. 

The positive figures and statistics for the rangers' involvement are phenomenal…

Over the last twelve months they have been involved in 801 events and activities in parks attended by over 35,000 people. Events range from the Buile Hill Park Bonfire Night, to Victoria Park Christmas bandstand concerts, to Halloween happenings, health walks, training for young offenders and young people, practical conservation with volunteer groups, free Easter and summer holiday activities and environmental education sessions with schools.

They have also encouraged volunteers to give a total of 6,740 hours of their time towards parks and countryside projects and involved 8000 people in at least thirty minutes of moderate physical activity, such as health walks, volunteer activities and bat walks.

Salford Ranger Team ticks every Council box imaginable – but that counts for nothing in the nasty dark new world ahead. Expect litter strewn, overgrown parks, more muggings, less community days…or, as the Sex Pistols used to scream back in the dark days of the late seventies… No Fun. No Future.

Beryl Hawke wrote
at 4:10:08 PM on Tuesday, February 19, 2013
As a member of Friends of Albert Park I know what a difference a Ranger makes to a park. We lost our Ranger when the first redundances happened. He had built a rapport with all the park users. He was very well respected in all aspects of his work. We thought that we would at least have some ranger input after he had gone but nothing. The so called managers didn't credit any of the team as to the input they have in educating people especially children what an asset a park is in a Community. A place to meet people, relax, play games. The list is endless. As someone said previously'do it yourself'. Well The Friends of Albert Park did this. We raised £250,000 and this was spent on the improvements in there. New paths laid, a brand new entrance including entry steps and a ramp. New paths laid, old paths resurfaced. New railings to replace old ones removed by the Council. Walls repointed. All this without as much as a thank you. Finally its come to a point where they say they will remove 2 flower beds and put shrubs in. This is furcoat economy. Furcoat and no knickers especially when we compare the Civic Centre and Victoria Park. We fought for the Rangers last time they were under threat so what can happen this time.
 
fissy 8 u wrote
at 6:12:20 AM on Saturday, February 16, 2013
I’m a child in one of the photos and without the rangers Salford’s community wouldn’t be at the level it’s at now. The rangers have helped Salford develop in the way it has and now it’s time for Salford to help them!!! Good luck x
 
In the know wrote
at 2:51:18 AM on Friday, February 15, 2013
Correct Mr Pimpernel top of the class, everything you said is true. Now just wait for Mr Koukash to come along with a bag full of money and the deals done.
 
Just a Thought.... wrote
at 1:21:02 AM on Friday, February 15, 2013
Sorry for the rangers losing their jobs - but here's a thought to consider - A Candidate for Mr Cameron's "Big Society" Gig ? Replacing Paid staff with volunteers - it sure looks that way!
 
salford pimpernel wrote
at 1:20:44 AM on Friday, February 15, 2013
@ mary ferrer.can't say to much, but go speak to the people in the park,I have no reason to doubt them and as you know things are always done behind peoples backs when it comes to this council. it's disgraceful? ps if you want to know what's going on in Salford, your better asking the people on the street than asking Salford council for information. the council tell you what you want to hear, the people tell you what you need to hear
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 3:18:48 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
Question to salford pimpernel.Do you know for a fact that the buildings are coming down. Because I haven't had any answers to my questions to the council. I also haven't heard that any money has been put on the table from Watson and Wilkinson.
 
salford pimpernel wrote
at 3:18:37 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
well said Joe.
 
Joe Oneill wrote
at 2:53:11 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
The Star highlights the Political stagnant state of Salford' regime, a Labour council voted in year on year even though people could see the results. The Tories rip out the heart of our cities and destroy what was once the pride of this country a fall back for those in need, Opposition within local councils no longer exist due to apathy the shame is large parts of this city can not be bothered to walk to a poling station but cry foul when their pockets are hit, perhaps if more people became active and voiced their views when it matters and used the hard fought right won by the sweat of others to vote things would have been different. These cuts tear at the very fragments of our economy people in fear of job loss don't spend and when that happens we witness the results. Labour have no elections this year only the possibility of a bi Election if that happens people should then offer Labour their answer with the pen at the ballot box, only when Labour fear defeat they will react and possible listen.
 
salford pimpernel wrote
at 2:52:22 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
just heard the bulldozers are soon to move in to flatten the old buildings in buile hill park to make way for the hotel car park , also the green houses close by, these are to be privatised along with the staff that work there, which you can bet the green houses will be puled down not long after the old buildings, I can see the whole park eventually being privatised and turned in to a golf course for the hotel guests. seems if your a waste of space in the Salford council i.e Ian Stuart and spicer you keep your job and over paid salary and if your a value to the city you get screwed, if Stuart and spicer had any back bone they'd give up there none jobs, so valuable and valued workers can keep there's
 
Salford Star wrote
at 1:25:58 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
See johnnycake Rotten comment below...and hiding behind a fake name increases your cred? Of course rubbish parks don't kill people. Chucking alcohol dependent people into unsuitable housing, closing support groups for people with mental health problems, leaving elderly people to cope by themselves etc does. Oh but their voices don't get heard because they don't have the `keyboard warrior' skills of you trolls do they? Look at the Council's own bleak reports on the future. And then get real.
 
johnnycake Rotten wrote
at 1:09:33 PM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
Couldn't agree more with the last commenter. The howls of outrage on here about cuts to an elitist park rangers service are ridiculous. It's as if every cut in Salford was going to cost lives, or some such nonsense. A sense of perspective now and then would improve your vanished credibility.
 
Do They Care? wrote
at 11:41:24 AM on Thursday, February 14, 2013
What we didn't have we will not miss. This service was available to some Parks and open spaces and not others,in my view it was an Elitist project that did not attend every community event they have never been in our park, although we requested that assistance many many times.There is always the opertunity to do what we did which is DO IT yourself.... I know this is not what you want to hear folks but that is the Truth.How could people campaign for something that served a few and not all
 
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