Hundreds sign up to save parks

Save our country walks ... Campaigners Alan and Lenka Anstead.

Save our country walks ... Campaigners Alan and Lenka Anstead.

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MORE than 230 people in Sudbury signed a petition against the proposed closure of popular parks and recreational walks in the area.

Alan and Lenka Anstead, from Long Melford, have started a county-wide campaign called Save Suffolk’s Country Parks. More than 1,000 people have so far joined it.

The couple want to stop places like the Valley Walk, in Sudbury, and Long Melford’s Melford Walk and Rodbridge Picnic area, as well as Clare Castle County Park, from possible closure under county council cost-cutting measures.

On Thursday, they were out on Sudbury’s Market Hill gathering signatures. If they reach a total of 3,675 signatures, under Suffolk County Council’s rules the petition can be officially presented to a full council meeting, triggering an automatic 15-minute discussion about the issue.

Mr Anstead said: “It is written into the council’s constitution that we would be entitled to speak for 5 minutes before a full council meeting, plus a 15-minute discussion by councillors.

“We have already gathered more than 1,000 signatures in the last two weeks, so we are hoping to reach the magic number.”

He said there was widespread support for the campaign, especially in Sudbury where the Valley Walk was an “integral part of the town”.

See this week’s Free Press for a special report on service cuts.