Some of Birmingham’s 400 parks and open spaces are so ravaged by graffiti and vandalism that they represent “war zones”, the councillor in charge of the city’s leisure facilities has declared.
Council cabinet member Martin Mullaney said he was shocked after visiting scores of venues when taking office last year.
He’s now declared war on anti-social behaviour and is demanding a city-wide clean up.
Coun Mullaney (Lib Dem Moseley & Kings Heath) said: “Some of our parks look like war zones, and this cannot go on.”
He’s ordered park rangers to adopt a minimum standard to ensure that graffiti and “anti-social behaviour” is removed from all leisure spaces in the city.
Coun Mullaney said: “I don’t want to name any particular locations, but when I became cabinet member I went around Birmingham to see for myself.
“Some parks are in a good condition but too many are in a dreadful state.
“It’s clearly a challenge given that the council has 400 open spaces to deal with, but we cannot continue to tolerate widespread graffiti and vandalism.”
He was stunned to discover that only 43 parks in Birmingham were subject to regular inspections by council staff.
A reorganisation of working methods, putting paid to a system where park rangers and wardens worked only in one or two individual parks, will enable regular checks to be carried out, he added.
Coun Mullaney said: “We had a situation where a person would be responsible for one park and would have nothing at all to do with another park that might be just down the road, claiming it wasn’t his job.
“All of that is changing and we now have area-based teams working with hand-held computers enabling them to conduct regular tours of parks and report back to the council any damage that needs to be dealt with.
“If they discover graffiti, it will be removed as quickly as possible. The buck will stop with the park rangers who will be responsible for making sure this happens.”