Return of the rangers: Park wardens to be employed across Wakefield district to tackle anti-social behaviour

Park wardens are going to be employed to run green spaces across the Wakefield district in a bid to stave off anti-social behaviour.

Wednesday, 26th May 2021, 3:55 pm
Thornes Park in Wakefield is among the venues benefiting from wardens.

Wardens, or rangers, are traditionally tasked with keeping parks tidy and liaising with the public.

Austerity has meant they've become an increasingly rare sight in nationwide.

But Wakefield Council leader Denise Jeffery said on Tuesday that the local authority would be employing more staff to help take care of parks in the district.

Parks across the district will be staffed.

The council has made spending on green spaces a priority over the last 12 months, with Wakefield's Thornes Park among the places given cash for a revamp.

But speaking on a public Q&A session on Facebook, Coun Jeffery said venues across the whole district would benefit.

She said: "During the pandemic, people couldn't travel and they've turned to their local park.

"Over the years, we haven't been able to invest in the parks, some of them have been neglected and there's been anti-social behaviour in them.

Coun Jeffery said green spaces had been one of the local authority's top priorities over the last year.

"We've put a substantial amount of money into them, not just Thornes Park in Wakefield but across the district - in Pontefract, Castleford, Ossett and the south-east. Every park will get investment."

Coun Jeffery joked that as a child she and her friends were "always in fear" of park rangers, "in case we did anything wrong".

She added: "We need them as a deterrent to anti-social behaviour, but also as a point of contact for the public as well, so it's a major investment.

"Parks and the green agenda is top of our priorities, but it will be across the district, every park will be treated the same."

Local Democracy Reporting Service