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McDonough Brown seeks solution to keep parks open longer

Alliance Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown is pushing back against Belfast City Council's decision to close all parks at sunset throughout the winter months.

Describing it as "unnecessary", the South Belfast Councillor will next month urge his Council colleagues to get behind his plans to ensure greater access to outdoor space throughout the long winter months.

He said: "Simply put, Belfast City Council must consider options for lighting city parks allowing them to keep them open for longer during winter months.

"It's unacceptable for those who want to use our parks past 4.30 are met with closed signs and blocked entry, especially those who are unable to access the parks earlier in the day due to their own commitments.

"We have so many great assets, from Botanic Gardens, to Ormeau Park and Lady Dixon Park, and it's already recognised that runners, cyclists, dog-walkers and many others will benefit from longer opening hours across city parks

"Yes there may be practical challenges to overcome, but I believe the time is right to explore whether we should invest in extra opening hours for our much loved spaces - especially as two parks in East Belfast already enjoy extended opening, proving that it can be done.

"Moving forward quickly and effectively I would suggest the busiest parks are addressed first and hope other parties will join with me in supporting this idea, allowing us to connect communities, enabling active lifestyles and making dark nights that little bit less depressing."