£100,000-a-year street ranger service is axed

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BURY St Edmunds’ street ranger service is to be axed from April.

The board at Bid4Bury has decided to cut the service after businesses in the town questioned the scheme’s value for money.

The rangers, who were brought in two years ago to help with security and to advise visitors in the town centre, cost the organisation nearly £100,000 a year.

The service is run by Ipswich Central, which is also responsible for organising the Business Improvement District in Ipswich.

Bid4Bury chief executive Mark Cordell said: “It is based on feedback from some of our members questioning the value for money for the service.

“After a lot of soul-searching the decision has been that it doesn’t represent the value for money that we would like.

“It is a real shame for the street rangers who are currently employed.”

He added: “The decision is no reflection upon the three current street rangers who the board believe have done an excellent job throughout their time in their roles.”

Mr Cordell said the possibility of employing street rangers directly had been considered by the organisation but that it would be difficult due to issues concerning employment law.

However, he did not rule out the idea in the future if it was what the Bid4Bury membership wanted.

Paul Haynes, manager of the arc shopping centre, said he was surprised the service was being cut.

He said: “This decision came out of the blue.

“I thought they have been doing a very good job and have been providing a very good service to the town.

“Those who have had dealings with them recognise that they make the public feel safer, give information about the shops and provide a very good brand image for Bury St Edmunds.”