P02 - Review of Countryside & Open Spaces

Closed 19 Dec 2011

Opened 21 Sep 2011

Results updated 16 Feb 2012

Thank you very much for all comments submitted to the savings proposals consultation. The staff and public consultation process have now concluded.  

Elected members have considered the final reports on this proposal including the staff and public views gathered during the consultation period. The decisions made are detailed below:

Members are requested to approve the following proposals:

1. Delete three posts of Township Parks & Countryside Rangers;

2. Delete the post of Green Space Ranger;

3. Reduce the opening hours of the offices and shop at Hollingworth Lake Visitors Centre to four days a week (Friday to Monday 9am till 3pm) whilst maintaining the café and toilet facilities at other times.

4. Approve charges to external clients by the Countryside Rangers for services that are currently free at point of delivery.

Proposed full year saving 2012/13: £168,000

Cabinet Decision:To be implemented with significant amendments

You can find the final proposal document, equality impact assessment, and the public summary of all proposal decisions in the files section below.



The council is considering a number of alternative options, as follows:   

Proposal A

This proposal will reduce the number of Township Parks and Countryside Rangers positions resulting in: 

  • A reduced presence of staff in parks, countryside and at events
  • Reduced maintenance for countryside and woodland areas
  • The Green Volunteer and Community Payback activities will no longer be organised by the service, although they will continue to supervise this work.


Going forward, we'll encourage voluntary activity and embrace new approaches to deliver the service such as printed guides, interpretation boards, virtual guided walks and more information on our web site.

Proposed saving in a full year: £120,000

Proposal B

This proposal involves sharing the functions around Green Space Development and Rights of Way across two Services in the council. The current level of service will not be affected but be delivered more efficiently.

Proposed saving in a full year: £34,000

Proposal C

Option 1

This proposal is to reduce the opening hours of Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre from 7 to 4 days a week.

This means that the visitor shop will only open four days a week. However, the café and toilet facilities could remain open everyday if shutters are installed to keep the shop and offices secure.

Option 2

This proposal would be for the Council to stop running Hollingworth Lake Visitor Centre and the voluntary sector to run it instead. There would be scope within this option to maintain some of the existing services provided.

Proposed saving in a full year: £19,000

The total indicative saving for these proposals is £168,000

As the proposal will affect service users, we have undertaken an Equality Impact Assessment to identify likely or actual effects on people with protected characteristics.


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