Bolton Council is reminding residents that there are only a few days left to comment on proposed changes to its Neighbourhood Services division.
The Neighbourhood Services Division, which is part of Environmental Services, has put forward proposals for changing the way in which it delivers Streetscene services (street care and cleaning) and Greenspace services (parks and open space) to residents.
The proposals have been put forward because the division is due to lose £1.729 m reduction in revenue funding over the next 3 years, as well as £257,000 reduction in capital funding and up to £2m in specific grants.
The reduced funding means there will be a reduction to work and staffing levels across all areas of the division.
The division will continue to provide as many services as possible within the funds available, but will be reducing non-essential expenditure and revising the structure, including removing 68 posts, 42 of which are vacant, across all levels of the workforce.
Potential outcomes of these proposals will include stopping of funding that the council currently gives to partners such as Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Groundwork; reducing street cleansing and grass cutting frequencies; delays in the removal of graffiti, flytipping and side waste and reducing the amount of money the council spends on a number of services and facilities e.g. allotments, parks, play areas, playgrounds and bowling greens.
Other potential outcomes include stopping park events and guided school visits, stopping locking of park gates and reducing the maintenance of shrub beds, trees and green spaces. This would also include the closing of eight public toilets and two visitor centres (Rock Hall and Animal World). However, the toilets in Moss Bank Park, Moses Gate Park, Bolton One Stop Shop, Bolton Central Library and Museum, Bolton Market and Topp Way car park (NCP Changing Places toilet) will remain open to the public. The council will also look at redeveloping Rock Hall Visitor Centre into a cafe or similar concession and redeveloping Animal World into a cafe, craft centre and community food growing centre.
The council is now carrying out a consultation with staff, service users, partners, interested community groups and the wider public on these proposals before making final recommendations to the elected Councillor with responsibility for Cleaner, Greener, Safer (the Executive Member). Once the final decision is made these changes to the service will begin to be implemented from April 2011.
The consultation started on 1st October 2010 and concludes on 26th November 2010 and residents can take part in the consultation by visiting the link on the right or to request a paper survey please contact 01204 331075.