Parks across Bexley will be left open at night as council try to save £200,000 a year

Danson Park is one of the open spaces which will no longer be locked at night from May.

Parks across Bexley will be left open in £200,000 council savings

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

Parks and open spaces across Bexley will be left open at night from September as the council looks to save £200,000 a year.

Residents have voiced concerns about the measures which see the contract with Ward Security terminated after 18 years.

Chris Boud, 63, of Little Heath Road, Bexleyheath, said: "I found out this last night and I think it is a deplorable decision.

"It needs to be brought to the forefront and something needs to be done.

"It is very worrying and I will be getting onto my councillor and sending a letter to the council.

"We have got nice parks across Bexley and I am particularly worried about Danson Park with its lakes and boathouse.

"We already have people riding quad bikes on Bursted Woods churning up the grass.

"My husband is a member of a local bowls club and we go all over the borough using the parks, this is just the wrong decision."

Gareth Bacon, councillor for environment and public realm, told News Shopper: "There are 104 parks and open spaces across Bexley and currently there are only 23 that are locked nightly.

"They are patrolled by Ward Security and that is the contract which has been terminated.

"It will save the council £200,000 a year. Our budget has been cut by one third from central government and more money has gone towards social services.

"This has been a difficult decision but we have had to take a good hard look at these cuts.

"There is currently no barbed wire or electric fencing on any of Bexley's parks so if people want to get into them they can if they really want to.

"This decision is not really going to make much difference but on the other hand I don't really want to be doing it."

Comments (25)

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4:15pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Mangetout says...

wait until a convoys of caravans turn up to stay.......how much will the 'saving' be then with the clear up and legal fees?
wait until a convoys of caravans turn up to stay.......how much will the 'saving' be then with the clear up and legal fees? Mangetout
  • Score: 37

4:39pm Thu 24 Apr 14

HearTheFacts says...

Gareth Bacon at it again!. So a saving of £200.000 a year, easy cut the senior staff pay!. I remember a petition going in about that. Rejected by our councillors, remember that on the 22 May. Time to remove this rabble!.
Gareth Bacon at it again!. So a saving of £200.000 a year, easy cut the senior staff pay!. I remember a petition going in about that. Rejected by our councillors, remember that on the 22 May. Time to remove this rabble!. HearTheFacts
  • Score: 17

4:50pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Not-a-hamster says...

It's a public space maintained with tax money, as long as a member of the public has a legitimate use for the park after dark they should be able to use it.
It's a public space maintained with tax money, as long as a member of the public has a legitimate use for the park after dark they should be able to use it. Not-a-hamster
  • Score: 12

5:18pm Thu 24 Apr 14

paulbexleyheath says...

how does a man in a van cost £200 000 per year . ...
il do it for half the amount ;-)
how does a man in a van cost £200 000 per year . ... il do it for half the amount ;-) paulbexleyheath
  • Score: 21

6:57pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Bestbaz says...

200K saving per year on park security only to be spent elsewhere on councillor comforts. How do the Tories get away with it !
200K saving per year on park security only to be spent elsewhere on councillor comforts. How do the Tories get away with it ! Bestbaz
  • Score: 19

8:57pm Thu 24 Apr 14

Life's to short says...

This is asking for trouble as anti social behaviour is at its worst for years.
Take into account extra clearing up , damaged buildings and children's playgrounds being destroyed and then £200,000 sounds ok for security after that .
Get a grip bexley council and look after our parks stop wasting it on biscuits and sausage rolls .
This is asking for trouble as anti social behaviour is at its worst for years. Take into account extra clearing up , damaged buildings and children's playgrounds being destroyed and then £200,000 sounds ok for security after that . Get a grip bexley council and look after our parks stop wasting it on biscuits and sausage rolls . Life's to short
  • Score: 11

11:48pm Thu 24 Apr 14

markofthesidcup5 says...

Also the dog handlers dogs will be put down absolutley disgusting , they should be taken to court , they waste so much money . I live in Elm road and in the past 5 years they have repaired a manhole cover at least 4 times , how much did that cost , also having to repair the green after zippo's circus and the fair have been and left the Green in such a poor state this list goes on and on SHAME ON YOU BEXLEY COUNCIL , ANIMAL KILLERS
Also the dog handlers dogs will be put down absolutley disgusting , they should be taken to court , they waste so much money . I live in Elm road and in the past 5 years they have repaired a manhole cover at least 4 times , how much did that cost , also having to repair the green after zippo's circus and the fair have been and left the Green in such a poor state this list goes on and on SHAME ON YOU BEXLEY COUNCIL , ANIMAL KILLERS markofthesidcup5
  • Score: 3

8:29am Fri 25 Apr 14

HearTheFacts says...

Life's to short wrote:
This is asking for trouble as anti social behaviour is at its worst for years.
Take into account extra clearing up , damaged buildings and children's playgrounds being destroyed and then £200,000 sounds ok for security after that .
Get a grip bexley council and look after our parks stop wasting it on biscuits and sausage rolls .
That's the point, once the vandals have wrecked the playgrounds and parks. Time to sell them to property developers, simple really!. Bexley Tories have been trying to charge to use playgrounds for years. Let them get wrecked, no money for repairs - sell them.

Time to kick this Tory filth out on the 22 May!.
[quote][p][bold]Life's to short[/bold] wrote: This is asking for trouble as anti social behaviour is at its worst for years. Take into account extra clearing up , damaged buildings and children's playgrounds being destroyed and then £200,000 sounds ok for security after that . Get a grip bexley council and look after our parks stop wasting it on biscuits and sausage rolls .[/p][/quote]That's the point, once the vandals have wrecked the playgrounds and parks. Time to sell them to property developers, simple really!. Bexley Tories have been trying to charge to use playgrounds for years. Let them get wrecked, no money for repairs - sell them. Time to kick this Tory filth out on the 22 May!. HearTheFacts
  • Score: -3

9:15am Fri 25 Apr 14

highway warrior says...

markofthesidcup5 wrote:
Also the dog handlers dogs will be put down absolutley disgusting , they should be taken to court , they waste so much money . I live in Elm road and in the past 5 years they have repaired a manhole cover at least 4 times , how much did that cost , also having to repair the green after zippo's circus and the fair have been and left the Green in such a poor state this list goes on and on SHAME ON YOU BEXLEY COUNCIL , ANIMAL KILLERS
Wow it seems a bit far fetched to suggest that the loss of one contract will mean the death of the patrol dogs! Not quite sure what planet you live on! Manhole covers are more than likely Thames Water's responsibility and the Circus repairs to Sidcup Place are probably more than covered by the fees they pay to use it! As for the Green, that is STILL sodden from the rain we had as it is a natural bowl and low lying. Oh and not used for the circus.
Only one clown here, and it's not me.........

No doubt the continual opening of parks will be a pain for those who live by them or back on to them, a pain for the Police and will be a headache for all if the 'do as they likeys' set up camp
[quote][p][bold]markofthesidcup5[/bold] wrote: Also the dog handlers dogs will be put down absolutley disgusting , they should be taken to court , they waste so much money . I live in Elm road and in the past 5 years they have repaired a manhole cover at least 4 times , how much did that cost , also having to repair the green after zippo's circus and the fair have been and left the Green in such a poor state this list goes on and on SHAME ON YOU BEXLEY COUNCIL , ANIMAL KILLERS[/p][/quote]Wow it seems a bit far fetched to suggest that the loss of one contract will mean the death of the patrol dogs! Not quite sure what planet you live on! Manhole covers are more than likely Thames Water's responsibility and the Circus repairs to Sidcup Place are probably more than covered by the fees they pay to use it! As for the Green, that is STILL sodden from the rain we had as it is a natural bowl and low lying. Oh and not used for the circus. Only one clown here, and it's not me......... No doubt the continual opening of parks will be a pain for those who live by them or back on to them, a pain for the Police and will be a headache for all if the 'do as they likeys' set up camp highway warrior
  • Score: 10

1:08pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Joelo says...

Again why do the council have to outsource everything? why not employ a few local people to work work night shifts between them?

Only need one member of staff per night to drive round and lock the parks and open again in the morning. 3 local people 3 full time jobs for no where near £200k!
Again why do the council have to outsource everything? why not employ a few local people to work work night shifts between them? Only need one member of staff per night to drive round and lock the parks and open again in the morning. 3 local people 3 full time jobs for no where near £200k! Joelo
  • Score: 15

1:26pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Crayman says...

Cut a few of the councillors and save some money. Both Mayor & Deputy Mayor have their husbands on the council payroll as "consorts" - disgusting waste of public funds.
Cut a few of the councillors and save some money. Both Mayor & Deputy Mayor have their husbands on the council payroll as "consorts" - disgusting waste of public funds. Crayman
  • Score: 6

1:31pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Bestbaz says...

Crayman wrote:
Cut a few of the councillors and save some money. Both Mayor & Deputy Mayor have their husbands on the council payroll as "consorts" - disgusting waste of public funds.
Quite agree, my local Tory councillor is an absolute waste of space. Roll on May 22nd !! Gets paid too much, and delivers nothing for the residents in his area, and today I get a leaflet saying 5 years no council tax increase, they forget about the absolute shambles they have left the borough in. Time for a change.
[quote][p][bold]Crayman[/bold] wrote: Cut a few of the councillors and save some money. Both Mayor & Deputy Mayor have their husbands on the council payroll as "consorts" - disgusting waste of public funds.[/p][/quote]Quite agree, my local Tory councillor is an absolute waste of space. Roll on May 22nd !! Gets paid too much, and delivers nothing for the residents in his area, and today I get a leaflet saying 5 years no council tax increase, they forget about the absolute shambles they have left the borough in. Time for a change. Bestbaz
  • Score: 2

3:40pm Fri 25 Apr 14

flea_in_ear says...

Not only are the parks vulnerable if left open, but the New Shopper has advertised the fact. Well done.
Not only are the parks vulnerable if left open, but the New Shopper has advertised the fact. Well done. flea_in_ear
  • Score: 2

4:22pm Fri 25 Apr 14

mouthalmighty says...

paulbexleyheath wrote:
how does a man in a van cost £200 000 per year . ...
il do it for half the amount ;-)
I will do it for a quarter, even one right would be more than what I get now.

Any way, at first I was horrified the parks will not be locked. Now that I think about it, there are plenty of open areas around london and beyond, that are not vandalised. I now remember that when I moved here 30 years ago, I was shocked they locked the parks up. People will get in if they want to. The gates and fences are not that high. Dan son park is regularly entered at night for fishing. The even bend the railings to get in.

I do hope the money saved is put to better use, e.g. more community centres where people can drop in for a cuppa, or advice, or even a chat or something.
[quote][p][bold]paulbexleyheath[/bold] wrote: how does a man in a van cost £200 000 per year . ... il do it for half the amount ;-)[/p][/quote]I will do it for a quarter, even one right would be more than what I get now. Any way, at first I was horrified the parks will not be locked. Now that I think about it, there are plenty of open areas around london and beyond, that are not vandalised. I now remember that when I moved here 30 years ago, I was shocked they locked the parks up. People will get in if they want to. The gates and fences are not that high. Dan son park is regularly entered at night for fishing. The even bend the railings to get in. I do hope the money saved is put to better use, e.g. more community centres where people can drop in for a cuppa, or advice, or even a chat or something. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 3

4:31pm Fri 25 Apr 14

Nu77y1 says...

Joelo wrote:
Again why do the council have to outsource everything? why not employ a few local people to work work night shifts between them?

Only need one member of staff per night to drive round and lock the parks and open again in the morning. 3 local people 3 full time jobs for no where near £200k!
They don't just lock the parks, they deal with all the trouble makers that frequent them. And believe me between the few of them that there is, they definitely do not earn 200k!
[quote][p][bold]Joelo[/bold] wrote: Again why do the council have to outsource everything? why not employ a few local people to work work night shifts between them? Only need one member of staff per night to drive round and lock the parks and open again in the morning. 3 local people 3 full time jobs for no where near £200k![/p][/quote]They don't just lock the parks, they deal with all the trouble makers that frequent them. And believe me between the few of them that there is, they definitely do not earn 200k! Nu77y1
  • Score: 2

5:32pm Fri 25 Apr 14

mouthalmighty says...

mouthalmighty wrote:
paulbexleyheath wrote:
how does a man in a van cost £200 000 per year . ...
il do it for half the amount ;-)
I will do it for a quarter, even one right would be more than what I get now.

Any way, at first I was horrified the parks will not be locked. Now that I think about it, there are plenty of open areas around london and beyond, that are not vandalised. I now remember that when I moved here 30 years ago, I was shocked they locked the parks up. People will get in if they want to. The gates and fences are not that high. Dan son park is regularly entered at night for fishing. The even bend the railings to get in.

I do hope the money saved is put to better use, e.g. more community centres where people can drop in for a cuppa, or advice, or even a chat or something.
My apologies. It should read " even one eigth", would be more than I get now.
[quote][p][bold]mouthalmighty[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]paulbexleyheath[/bold] wrote: how does a man in a van cost £200 000 per year . ... il do it for half the amount ;-)[/p][/quote]I will do it for a quarter, even one right would be more than what I get now. Any way, at first I was horrified the parks will not be locked. Now that I think about it, there are plenty of open areas around london and beyond, that are not vandalised. I now remember that when I moved here 30 years ago, I was shocked they locked the parks up. People will get in if they want to. The gates and fences are not that high. Dan son park is regularly entered at night for fishing. The even bend the railings to get in. I do hope the money saved is put to better use, e.g. more community centres where people can drop in for a cuppa, or advice, or even a chat or something.[/p][/quote]My apologies. It should read " even one eigth", would be more than I get now. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 2

6:37pm Fri 25 Apr 14

markofthesidcup5 says...

highway warrior wrote:
markofthesidcup5 wrote:
Also the dog handlers dogs will be put down absolutley disgusting , they should be taken to court , they waste so much money . I live in Elm road and in the past 5 years they have repaired a manhole cover at least 4 times , how much did that cost , also having to repair the green after zippo's circus and the fair have been and left the Green in such a poor state this list goes on and on SHAME ON YOU BEXLEY COUNCIL , ANIMAL KILLERS
Wow it seems a bit far fetched to suggest that the loss of one contract will mean the death of the patrol dogs! Not quite sure what planet you live on! Manhole covers are more than likely Thames Water's responsibility and the Circus repairs to Sidcup Place are probably more than covered by the fees they pay to use it! As for the Green, that is STILL sodden from the rain we had as it is a natural bowl and low lying. Oh and not used for the circus.
Only one clown here, and it's not me.........

No doubt the continual opening of parks will be a pain for those who live by them or back on to them, a pain for the Police and will be a headache for all if the 'do as they likeys' set up camp
I have spoken to one of the wardens personally , you obviously don't like animals as for the green being sodden , when was the last time you visited the park? Definetly not in the last 4 weeks,
[quote][p][bold]highway warrior[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]markofthesidcup5[/bold] wrote: Also the dog handlers dogs will be put down absolutley disgusting , they should be taken to court , they waste so much money . I live in Elm road and in the past 5 years they have repaired a manhole cover at least 4 times , how much did that cost , also having to repair the green after zippo's circus and the fair have been and left the Green in such a poor state this list goes on and on SHAME ON YOU BEXLEY COUNCIL , ANIMAL KILLERS[/p][/quote]Wow it seems a bit far fetched to suggest that the loss of one contract will mean the death of the patrol dogs! Not quite sure what planet you live on! Manhole covers are more than likely Thames Water's responsibility and the Circus repairs to Sidcup Place are probably more than covered by the fees they pay to use it! As for the Green, that is STILL sodden from the rain we had as it is a natural bowl and low lying. Oh and not used for the circus. Only one clown here, and it's not me......... No doubt the continual opening of parks will be a pain for those who live by them or back on to them, a pain for the Police and will be a headache for all if the 'do as they likeys' set up camp[/p][/quote]I have spoken to one of the wardens personally , you obviously don't like animals as for the green being sodden , when was the last time you visited the park? Definetly not in the last 4 weeks, markofthesidcup5
  • Score: 3

6:45pm Fri 25 Apr 14

markofthesidcup5 says...

Oh and as for what planet I live on , last time I heard it was earth , you cannot re home these dogs as they are not family orientated due to their training , you may call me a clown , but I certainly am not ignorant !!!!!!!
Oh and as for what planet I live on , last time I heard it was earth , you cannot re home these dogs as they are not family orientated due to their training , you may call me a clown , but I certainly am not ignorant !!!!!!! markofthesidcup5
  • Score: 1

8:16pm Fri 25 Apr 14

andrew_b says...

An employers total cost of employment will incur additional costs on top of the base salary such as employers NI, uniforms, staff benefits inc pensions, training, shift allowances etc etc and as it’s outsourced the employer would add a management fee i.e profit. The total cost of employment can be double the base salary, and these costs all need to be factored in

The cost of the dogs, food, insurance, vet bills, the vehicles, fuel, insurance etc these are all costs that will be charged to the council.
An employers total cost of employment will incur additional costs on top of the base salary such as employers NI, uniforms, staff benefits inc pensions, training, shift allowances etc etc and as it’s outsourced the employer would add a management fee i.e profit. The total cost of employment can be double the base salary, and these costs all need to be factored in The cost of the dogs, food, insurance, vet bills, the vehicles, fuel, insurance etc these are all costs that will be charged to the council. andrew_b
  • Score: -3

12:36pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Joelo says...

Nu77y1 wrote:
Joelo wrote:
Again why do the council have to outsource everything? why not employ a few local people to work work night shifts between them?

Only need one member of staff per night to drive round and lock the parks and open again in the morning. 3 local people 3 full time jobs for no where near £200k!
They don't just lock the parks, they deal with all the trouble makers that frequent them. And believe me between the few of them that there is, they definitely do not earn 200k!
But just employing wardens to lock the parks and keep an eye over night would be better than nothing and would cost considerably less. That is my point
[quote][p][bold]Nu77y1[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Joelo[/bold] wrote: Again why do the council have to outsource everything? why not employ a few local people to work work night shifts between them? Only need one member of staff per night to drive round and lock the parks and open again in the morning. 3 local people 3 full time jobs for no where near £200k![/p][/quote]They don't just lock the parks, they deal with all the trouble makers that frequent them. And believe me between the few of them that there is, they definitely do not earn 200k![/p][/quote]But just employing wardens to lock the parks and keep an eye over night would be better than nothing and would cost considerably less. That is my point Joelo
  • Score: 6

9:57pm Sat 26 Apr 14

Simon bald says...

roll on May so I can smash up the local swings
roll on May so I can smash up the local swings Simon bald
  • Score: -4

10:42pm Sun 27 Apr 14

Nu77y1 says...

markofthesidcup5 wrote:
Oh and as for what planet I live on , last time I heard it was earth , you cannot re home these dogs as they are not family orientated due to their training , you may call me a clown , but I certainly am not ignorant !!!!!!!
A majority of these dogs can be re homed. When trained correctly by the right people these dogs are not only taught how too protect they are also taught too be sociable. Yes agreed you might get the odd one that won't be able too, but that's no different too many rescue dogs!
[quote][p][bold]markofthesidcup5[/bold] wrote: Oh and as for what planet I live on , last time I heard it was earth , you cannot re home these dogs as they are not family orientated due to their training , you may call me a clown , but I certainly am not ignorant !!!!!!![/p][/quote]A majority of these dogs can be re homed. When trained correctly by the right people these dogs are not only taught how too protect they are also taught too be sociable. Yes agreed you might get the odd one that won't be able too, but that's no different too many rescue dogs! Nu77y1
  • Score: 0

9:12am Mon 28 Apr 14

MsChevious says...

Can any of you point me to the crime wave and devestation affecting the 81 parks which aren't locked each night?! Surely if they survive just fine then it is a total waste of money to send patrols around to secure the others, no?! I'm not defending the council wholesale but it could just be in this instance that this is the right decision...

And for markofthesidcup5, Ward Security have contracts with lots of local authorities & private companies - losing this one will not have any impact on their animals!
Can any of you point me to the crime wave and devestation affecting the 81 parks which aren't locked each night?! Surely if they survive just fine then it is a total waste of money to send patrols around to secure the others, no?! I'm not defending the council wholesale but it could just be in this instance that this is the right decision... And for markofthesidcup5, Ward Security have contracts with lots of local authorities & private companies - losing this one will not have any impact on their animals! MsChevious
  • Score: 1

10:19am Mon 28 Apr 14

highway warrior says...

markofthesidcup5 wrote:
Oh and as for what planet I live on , last time I heard it was earth , you cannot re home these dogs as they are not family orientated due to their training , you may call me a clown , but I certainly am not ignorant !!!!!!!
Yup because a company as big as Ward that deal with dogs don't have an end of working life policy for their canine employees. Oh no wait a second they DO have one! Rehoming them with families isn't the only option you know.

As for the Wardens it will be a shame to lose them, i've always found them pleasant to deal with and helpful, always enjoy a good chat with them.
[quote][p][bold]markofthesidcup5[/bold] wrote: Oh and as for what planet I live on , last time I heard it was earth , you cannot re home these dogs as they are not family orientated due to their training , you may call me a clown , but I certainly am not ignorant !!!!!!![/p][/quote]Yup because a company as big as Ward that deal with dogs don't have an end of working life policy for their canine employees. Oh no wait a second they DO have one! Rehoming them with families isn't the only option you know. As for the Wardens it will be a shame to lose them, i've always found them pleasant to deal with and helpful, always enjoy a good chat with them. highway warrior
  • Score: 2

2:48pm Mon 28 Apr 14

mouthalmighty says...

Simon bald wrote:
roll on May so I can smash up the local swings
Grow up simon.

Look, most people are curious about locked gates and high fences. Being young and inquisitive is to be expected really. Take the mystery away and eventually those parks will no longer hold a fascination.
[quote][p][bold]Simon bald[/bold] wrote: roll on May so I can smash up the local swings[/p][/quote]Grow up simon. Look, most people are curious about locked gates and high fences. Being young and inquisitive is to be expected really. Take the mystery away and eventually those parks will no longer hold a fascination. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 1

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