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News - 2012

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One of the main news items of 2012 was the ePetiton against Council spending cuts. A reduction in the goverment grant to the city council meant that a number of deep cuts would be made in the budget and this would include the city parks. Having just completed a 5 million pound heritage lottery project to revitalise areas of Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park, it seemed a shame to undo all the work that had gone into it over the last few years. An ePetion was started in January 2012 on the council website which asked people to support the following petition

We the undersigned petition the council to reconsider the proposal to cut the number of Countryside Rangers from 8 to 4 and to keep the number of staff unchanged. If approved, this proposal would have a serious impact on the countryside and wildlife around Newcastle. There will also be a reduction in the number of events organised for members of the public, both adults and children. With fewer Countryside Rangers, and a reduction in the work done by groups of volunteers under the supervision of the Rangers, the Newcastle Parks are likely to enter a period of slow but inevitable decline, with inadequate management of their varied habitats and less positive management for its wildlife. There is also likely to be both an increase in littering and vandalism and a delay in dealing with these problems when they occur. The health and well being of the people of Newcastle will be adversely affected by this proposal.

467 people signed the petition which was a good effort, but not enough to force a full council debate, which would have required a total of 2500 signitures. However because we got over 20 the council did have to review its decision and this resulted in one less Ranger losing their job.
However towards the end of 2012 came the news that the whole parks budget would be slashed, all 10 Park Keepers posts across the city would be deleted. The city parks would be divided into 2 groups, the top group (which would include Paddy’s will get the most help and the Green flag standard will be maintained as best as possible. The bottom group will get basic maintenance. The 2 training assistants posts based in Heaton Park would be deleted, but the 4 Rangers would stay, 2 in the Dene and 2 elsewhere, though there will be another review in 2 years time at which point those posts may go as well.

The full details of the council proposals (2012 to 2016) for the parks and green spaces are available online at the Newcastle City Council Website:


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The club had a successfull year raising money for the RNLI, a total of £245 was raised

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The club joined Facebook in February. Its quicker to update items on Facebook than on the website and has attracted a whole new audience

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The club again displayed at the North East Model Show held on the weekend of the 24th and 25th of March at the Temple Park Leisure centre at South Shields.

 


We also put on a display at the Bridges Festival, and event that was very popular with the public and raised awareness of what the north east has to offer.