Camden to leave parks unlocked

Bloomsbury and Kings Cross parks are to be left unlocked, in a cost-saving trial announced by LB Camden. The trial will take place between 30th May and 26th June, and includes Russell Square, Brunswick Square, Tavistock Square, Bloomsbury Square, Queen Square, Regent Square, St George’s Gardens and Marchmont Community Garden.

Parks were left unlocked in a first trial last December, but this second is to see what happens in the better weather of spring and early summer. LB Camden claims that not having to lock parks could save a chunk of the the current grounds maintenance contract, which totals £2.5 million a year – though it hasn’t said how much. The contract comes to an end in March 2017, “presenting a good opportunity to consider ways to reduce costs”, according to the Council notice sent out to tenants’ and residents’ groups last week.

In the first pilot parks were monitored for antisocial behaviour, with the results apparently showing “a lack of any serious incidents”. Monitoring in this second trial is therefore going to be crucial for the long-term management of our local parks – and will depend in large part on the reports made by us, as local residents. If you have any comments that you want to be taken into account before the pilot starts, Camden wants to hear by the 6th May – email to groundsmaintenance@camden.gov.uk.

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