Park visitors face 'terrible impact' of 'mean' budget cuts, councillors warn

Councillors Dawn Barnett and Nick Lewry warned of the impact to residents and park visitors from 'mean' council budget cuts <i>(Image: Brighton and Hove Conservatives)</i>
Councillors Dawn Barnett and Nick Lewry warned of the impact to residents and park visitors from 'mean' council budget cuts (Image: Brighton and Hove Conservatives)

Residents and visitors to a park could be hit with the “terrible impact” of “mean” council cuts, two councillors have claimed.

Visitors to Greenleas Park in Hove could see parking charges introduced and its public toilets closed under council’s upcoming budget plans.

Councillors Dawn Barnett and Nick Lewry warned the proposals would have a significant impact on sports teams, dog walkers and hikers that use the area and called on the council to reprioritise spending on essential services.

Cllr Barnett, who lives opposite the park, said residents should not have to suffer for the poor financial management of the council.

She said: “The council is targeting Greenleas and the community because they have lost control of their public toilet finances.

“The leader of the council should never have cancelled the private contract for cleaning the city’s public toilets in 2022 - which still had five years left to run.

“Less than a year since the council brought the service in-house on February 1 last year, all hell has broken loose.

“Now the council wants to close Greenleas public toilets in our ward permanently, which would have a terrible impact on sports teams and all users of the park, and people are up in arms.”

Cllr Barnett also had a message for council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty: “Fix the issues you caused yourself - take some accountability for your error or resign,” she said.

Cllr Lewry said that sports teams were concerned that they would no longer be able to play at the venue.

He said: “The council’s mean plan to close the public toilets is very concerning to our local sports team, who use the changing rooms around the back of the block as well as the toilets.

“On top of this, the parents would have to pay to use the car park on match days as the council has targeted eight spaces for charging.

“This is a very poorly thought through plan by the council that will hit Hangleton ward. It is unwanted and unnecessary and needs to be voted down by all councillors.”

The pair of Conservative councillors have created a petition and called on residents to sign ahead of a meeting of the council on February 2 where the budget will be discussed.