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Exeter backs campaign to love and respect our local parks

Published: 7 August 2020

Love Parks Campaign Love Parks campaign

A national campaign to encourage people to respect local parks has been endorsed by Exeter City Council.

‘Love Parks’ was recently launched by Keep Britain Tidy following a spike in litter and anti-social behaviour in parks across the country, calling on people to ‘Be Kind to Local Parks’.

A survey from Keep Britain Tidy revealed that more than half of the country’s parks have had to pull in extra resources to deal with issues like litter and anti-social behaviour since lockdown was eased. 

Of those, 81% had to spend more on clearing up litter, 79% on bin emptying and 72% on maintaining public order or enforcing lockdown rules. 

Cllr David Harvey, Lead Councillor for Environment and City Management for Exeter City Council, said: "We’re very fortunate in Exeter to have so many beautiful green spaces which people can enjoy, from our more formal city parks to our Valley Parks.

"The vast majority of people in Exeter respect and enjoy these facilities and treat them well but we always need to stay vigilant for those who are intent on spoiling it for others.

"There are hundreds of litter bins in Exeter and you’re never really far from one. Our teams will do their best to ensure these are regularly emptied but sometimes, for various reasons, this is not always possible. In those situations my advice would be to find an empty bin or even take the litter home with you to dispose of responsibly.”

Anyone who spots incidents of anti-social behaviour taking place is urged to contact the police.

Of the local authorities who responded to the survey – more than 100 of them in total – said they had spent, on average, an extra £33,000 on managing parks in the past three months, with one reporting increased spending of up to £150,000. Councils also reported clearing up, on average, 57 tonnes of additional waste from their parks.

All this has come at a time when local authorities’ resources have been stretched by the challenges of dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and 42% of local authorities reported having lower staffing levels than usual.

Despite this, almost half (46%) say they will need to put extra staff in to manage parks over the summer holiday period and will need, on average, to spend an additional £47,000 to cope. 

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