I REFER to the parks consultation process.

The Friends of Taylor Park strongly disagree with all three proposals outlined in the council’s consultation document.

We, along with several of the other friends groups in the borough, believe that there are fundamental flaws in the consultation process the council has undertaken.

Nevertheless we are responding to the document as it stands.

We recognise the unrelenting financial pressures the council faces and the way the council has transformed so many of our green spaces.

It is precisely because of the way they have been transformed that we oppose these plans.

If these latest plans are implemented we believe that the parks, cemeteries and open spaces will rapidly spiral into decay because 2018 would not be the end of the story.

The waste of the public money invested in recent years would be vast and the cost to the community in terms of the loss of facilities which help deliver a council priority (health, well being and fitness).

Furthermore the council’s objective to promote economic growth will suffer because the borough needs to be attractive to investors, workers and their families.

The improvements in these public spaces has spawned new and vigorous friends and community groups which have boosted the number of family events and activities in our public spaces.

The proposal to involve the voluntary sector is a very worthy but optimistic dream.

The history of public services is littered with stories of voluntary groups enthusiastically embracing their new roles only for volunteer numbers to decline and fluctuate, making the role unsustainable in the longer term.

Peter Yates, Friends of Taylor Park