Blow to Lickey Hills as parking fees and reduction in rangers announced - The Bromsgrove Standard

Blow to Lickey Hills as parking fees and reduction in rangers announced

Bromsgrove Editorial 8th Mar, 2024   0

BIRMINGHAM City Council has voted to implement parking charges at Lickey Hills Country Park from 2025 following a heated debate on the future of services across the city.

The council’s budget for 2024/25, which included the parking enforcements, was passed at a full meeting on Wednesday, March 5.

Parking charges could be implemented from as early as 2025, with preparations and consultations taking place this year. The charges are also planned to be introduced at Sutton Park and Sheldon Country Park.

Coun Majid Mahmood, cabinet member for environment, said: “Now the budget proposals have been approved informal consultations will follow, including with stakeholders to seek feedback.

“Formal consultations will follow for the proposed parking charges and for traffic restrictions (as deemed suitable by the highways departments).”

This represents just one of many alterations to services affecting residents in Birmingham as a result of disastrous financial ramifications for the council caused by an equal pay saga and poor implementation of a new IT and finance system.

Leader of the council, Labour councillor John Cotton also cited the rising demands for services and the detrimental effect of years of austerity perpetuated by the Conservative government, as reasons for the financial difficulties.

“This budget is not one I entered politics to set,” he added.

Within the budget, Birmingham City Council is forecasted to generate £381,000 in the 2025/26 financial year as a result of parking enforcement role-outs however Coun Cotton recognised this revenue will not do much to fix the council’s dire financial situation.

“We can’t guarantee huge additional income from parking enforcement,” he said.

In another potential blow to Lickey Hills Country Park, the council set out plans to remove ranger patrols and delete vacant posts within the ranger service. This will reduce the city’s park rangers from 33 to 20 and is forecast to save the council £807,000 annually for the next two years.

Ranger services will now be refocused on priority areas of risk assessment, open water safety assessments and tree safety inspections.

Because of the rangers’ role in overseeing and sometimes supervising organised events such as volunteer led walks or visits from local schools, the Lickey Hills Society fears the feasibility of these events could be greatly impacted.

A spokesperson for Lickey Hills Society told the Standard: “Rangers services are at risk altogether and these parking charges will help save them.

“The question is will basic things be neglected as a result of the reduction and refocus of rangers.”

Visit for further information on the proposed parking prices.

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