A row has broken out about a build-up of rubbish in one of Birmingham’s most popular parks.
Families soaking up the sun at Cannon Hill Park, in Moseley, over the weekend were confronted by plastic carrier bags floating in the lakes, litter bins overflowing with bags of rubbish piled next to them and discarded food and drink cartons scattered across the grass.
Birmingham City Council has blamed the public for the mess. But the Friends of Cannon Hill Park say cutbacks are to blame.
Last year a radical shake-up of the ranger service was undertaken which resulted in 13 posts being cut when the contract was out-sourced to private companies.
Teams of rangers and wardens were no longer assigned to specific parks, but instead organised into hubs with responsibility for several parks.
Rangers who used to be at Cannon Hill now work out of Kings Heath, covering Hall Green and Selly Oak as well.
Gill Fox, from Friends of Cannon Hill Park, said they had had an ongoing problem with litter which had been made worse by losing the rangers.
“At one time we had rangers based there permanently, but following council cutbacks they’ve gone and only pop in now and then,” she said.
“Over the weekend it was extremely busy and this is something we have been concerned about for a while, but obviously it gets worse over the summer.”
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council denied the allegations.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with last year’s grounds maintenance reorganisation – a reorganisation which, incidentally, has just been recognised by the Local Government Chronicle Awards,” he said.
“The simple fact is that our parks were extremely busy last weekend and that inevitably, and regrettably, means an increase in litter.
“Staff worked throughout the weekend and 12 members of staff worked on the clear-up on Monday.
“Recent figures from our customer satisfaction survey – the first since new grounds maintenance contracts were awarded last year – show the approval ratings of our parks are up eight per cent.
“There is an issue of personal responsibility here and the majority of people use the litter bins provided or take litter home with them.
"Unfortunately a minority do not.”