Consultation on locking park gates at night

Brixton Windmill at dusk

Lambeth Landscapes (the Lambeth Council department which runs parks) is reviewing the existing practice of locking its parks, which apparently costs £82,000 a year in overtime. We have been told there is a £200,000 forecast overspend for parks and that difficult choices are to be made.

One option is to stop locking parks in early 2020. Lambeth Landscapes have asked us to discuss this with members of the Friends of Windmill Gardens and park users before a decision is taken.

This is not a proposal to open Windmill Gardens at night. If the park gate is not locked it will remain illegal for people to be in the park during the hours of darkness.

Lambeth Landscapes say the following measures (some of which were already planned) could mitigate the gates being unlocked:

  • Additional police officers (funded by Lambeth Council through the Partnership Plus scheme) with occasional evening and weekend patrols and ability to respond to specific Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) at night.
  • A notice on the entrance gate saying it is illegal to be in the park outside the designated opening hours, unless the Brixton Windmill Centre is in use.

Members of Friends groups are being asked by Lambeth Landscapes to comment on the following questions:

  • What anti-social behaviour takes place at night currently that you are aware of?
  • What would your specific concerns for the park be if it was left open at night?
  • Would community volunteers consider taking on the locking/unlocking function and if so, what might the implications be?
  • Any other comments?

Please respond to by Friday 1 November so that the FoWG trustees can collate responses to send on to Lambeth Landscapes.

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