COMMUNITY parks in Fylde are set to end up under a town’s council control – but it will not get its hands on the most prized green spaces.
St Annes Town councillors had thought Fylde Council had pulled its offer to enter into negotiations about the smaller council taking over the town’s parks and gardens.
But Fylde insists the offer does still stand – but only for certain parks.
The town’s most popular green spaces which are seen as vital for tourism – Ashton Gardens, the Promenade Gardens and Fairhaven Lake – are not up for discussion and will remain in the hands of the borough council.
It means if St Annes Town Council do press ahead and bid to follow in the footsteps of Kirkham Town Council – which took on their open spaces in April – they will only get smaller parks such as Waddington Road, Hope Street and Heeley Road.
A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “We’re still willing to talk to St Annes Town Council about the transfer of parks and open spaces if they want to.
“We would be willing to discuss a partial transfer of some parks, but not all parks – the Promenade Gardens, Fairhaven Lake and gardens and Ashton Gardens we have classed as strategic assets on the basis residents from all over the borough enjoy them.
“They are important to the tourism economy in the whole area and we do not believe it would be fair to put the burden of the cost just on St Annes residents.”
Kirkham residents now pay the town council for the maintenance of their open spaces – along with the other rural parishes – while St Annes, Ansdell and Lytham residents pay special expenses.
In Kirkham the move has meant cheaper tax bills for residents and St Annes Town Council’s policy and resources committee formally agreed to enter into discussions with Fylde at its meeting in May.
Committee chairman Coun Ed Nash said: “As far as the town council is concerned we’re willing to discuss the transfer but we thought Fylde Council was not, despite having approached us some years ago and asking us to consider taking them on.”