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Following lobbying by friends of parks groups and submission of public petitions, Enfield Council has modified the decision it took in 2014 to cease locking all parks overnight.  The new policy is to completely cease locking those parks where only some entrances have been locked, but to continue to completely lock parks where the practice has been to lock all entrances overnight.

broomfield park june 2015 photo by belinda robinsonBroomfield Park will be locked overnight (photo by Belinda Robinson from the FoBP Facebook page)Now that there is no longer anyone living in the houses in Broomfield Park, the vehicle entrance will in future be locked overnight, as will all pedestrian gates.  (The vehicle entrance is in fact closed 24/7 at present following damage by a large vehicle, but the intention is to repair the entrance in time for the Palmers Green Festival on 6th September.)

A paper setting out the revised policy was discussed at a meeting of Enfeld Councl's Overview & Scrutiny Committee held on 2nd June.  In the run-up to to the meeting all friends of parks groups were consulted and information was collected about crime in parks and the policies of other London boroughs.

The following summary of the revised policy is taken from the draft minutes of the meeting:

Cllr Anderson, Cabinet Member for Environment, introduced the report as follows:

    • The decision to unlock parks had previously been called-in in October of last year. It had been agreed that implementation of the decision be suspended until the spring of 2015 to enable consultation with the Police and Friends of the Parks.
    • During the intervening period a considerable number of responses to the consultation had been received. The report outlined the extent of the consultation.
    • It had been identified that there were particular perceptions around incidents of crime in parks that were of concern to those consulted; reference was made to Paragraph 3.6 of the report which mapped out the general perspectives in this regard.
    • Residents were concerned that if fully locked parks were unlocked, there would be a rise in Anti-Social Behaviour and other related types of crime.
    • In general, the Friends of Parks were, however, supportive of unlocking
    • partially locked parks.
    • It had therefore been decided that the 13 parks currently fully locked would remain so. Those parks currently partially locked would be unlocked, but any toilets or vehicle barriers at these sites would be locked. Broomfield Park, which previously had been only partially locked due to the presence of a tenant, would also now be fully locked.
    • All parks would, however, be opened whenever contractor access was required.
    • Contractors would be employed to carry out locking and unlocking.
    • The annual saving achieved would be £9,450.

The draft minutes of the meeting are available online - these include Councillor Anderson's introduction to the topic and questions raised by members of the public who attended the meeting.

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