Council cuts: Maryon Wilson animals under threat

Maryon Wilson Park’s animal centre could face closure if it cannot find a sponsor, according to Greenwich Council’s cuts proposals.

The centre currently employs just one full-time member of staff, and costs the council £43,000 a year to run. It plans to seek sponsorship for the centre from April 2012.

“If sponsorship cannot be secured, the only alternative will be closure of the centre,” council officers warn in a document distributed to councillors.

The proposal is just one of a huge range of savings proposed by the council as it responds to the cutting of grants from central government.

Parking in Charlton – as well as Blackheath and Greenwich – is likely to become more expensive, with free parking bays across the area abolished and charges brought in. There is also a proposal to levy a £5 matchday parking charge near The Valley – although there are no details available on how this would work.

Charlton House’s tea room is set to lose its £8,000 a year subsidy – but would remain open.

Councillors will meet to discuss the proposals on Thursday evening at Woolwich Town Hall. All three Charlton ward councillors – Janet Gillman, Allan MacCarthy and Gary Parker – are on the overview and scrutiny committee charged with studying the plans, along with Peninsula ward representative Dick Quibell.

26 thoughts on “Council cuts: Maryon Wilson animals under threat

  1. stonemuse December 7, 2010 / 13:01

    Hopefully won’t come to it but such a shame about the animal park if it does.

    It has been there as far back as I can remember and my parents used to take me. In turn, I used to take my kids there when they were younger and I still stop to look whenever I walk through the park.

  2. Paul December 7, 2010 / 13:53

    It would be terrible if the park closed, my daughter would be devastated. A great local resource, let’s hope they find some sponsorship. Closing the centre would be a hammer blow for Charlton, for me it’s the most distinctive feature (apart from the Thames Barrier).

  3. Nat December 8, 2010 / 07:02

    Let’s start a campaign! This can’t be allowed to happen! Darryl I know you were involved in the last election so you must be able to help us with what to do?

    • Darryl December 10, 2010 / 17:51

      I’m up for a campaign – just trying to work out the best way to proceed with it…

  4. CharltonAverage December 8, 2010 / 16:54

    I presume that people have noticed that Daryl hasn’t seen any mention of a threat to cut the £30k party for the Mayor that the Council still manage to find the money to fund, £30k that would go a long way to keeping the animals there.

    So a big party for themselves or animals to please yet another generation of children (and adults! I loved the animals). I wonder which way the Council will go…

    • Darryl December 8, 2010 / 17:00

      Of course, the mayor who’ll be the recipient of that bubbly is Kidbrooke and Hornfair councillor Jim Gillman, husband of Charlton councillor Janet Gillman.

      Just a thought.

      • Sting January 5, 2011 / 10:22

        If a campaign is to be successful it must be based on facts.
        The current mayor is Cllr Barbara Barwick and no relation of Cllr Jim Gillman.

        I agree with the sentiments that party fare would be better spent on public facilities such as the Animal Centre which makes Maryon Wilson Park an unique feature in the whole borough. Where else can you walk freely alongside such a collection of animals.

        • Darryl January 5, 2011 / 12:53

          I don’t see where the inaccuracy is – the next mayor (the recipient of that bubbly) is Jim Gillman. He’s the one who can say no to a £30,000 booze-up in his honour. The power lies in his hands.

          The current mayor, Barbara Barwick, has already had her £30k booze-up.

  5. Tim Anderson December 11, 2010 / 09:00

    I am sure that ‘The Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks’ will want to campaign to keep the Animal Care Centre in Maryon Wilson Park open. Thank you for posting the information about the Councils plans.
    Tim Anderson
    Chair FMMWP

  6. Nikki December 12, 2010 / 22:38

    I know we have to work to secure the council funding, but would it help if readers of the Champion were to cobble funds together to sponsor an animal at the same time? It really would be terrible if the animal park were to close.

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