FANS of Pets’ Corner in Longford Park are appealing for volunteers to help run it following the council’s decision to withdraw funding.
Trafford Council is currently responsible for the pets’ corners in Longford Park and John Leigh Park, in Altrincham, but will cease to be from April, following executive members’ approval for a package of budget cuts on February 19.
A spokesman for the council said the move is necessary to meet the projected £17m budget deficit facing the council this year, but is in talks with the Friends of Longford Park group and Uprising Cafe to establish an alternative model.
In fact Janey Riley, who is one of the directors of Uprising, hopes the cafe can take over the management of the pet’s corner under a service licence agreement and thinks the attraction can be better than ever.
Janey said the cafe already makes preservatives, brews beer and teaches people to bake bread, but hopes to extend micro-food production by introducing laying hens and goats which can produce milk – which can then be used in the cafe.
While the cafe would manage the pets corner, volunteers are needed to help look after the animals and many people have already expressed an interest.
People wanting to volunteer should email Sue Simpkins on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue said: “The more people who volunteer the better it will be as then people will have to give up less of their time.”
Council leader, Cllr Sean Anstee, said: “It is pleasing to see that an agreement appears close to being reached to allow the facility to remain open for the community to use and I am grateful to all those involved to date.
“The scale of the financial challenge we face is unprecedented, but Trafford and its communities continue to show resilience to it as we seek to collectively work together to maintain facilities for all to use.”
Longford councillor, Anne Duffield, said: “We are now more hopeful that pets’ corner can remain in Longford Park and that local people will come forward to volunteer.
“Negotiations are on-going with Trafford Council about the level of funding that will be available to support this.”