Reporter readers have reacted with angry over the “undemocratic” decision to close Sherdley Park’s pets’ corner.
The Reporter revealed how the petting zoo is being shut as part of a cost-cutting exercise prompted by government cuts.
But the unpopular decision was made by council officers before being approved by cabinet member Seve Gomez Aspron and did not go to a vote among elected members.
The Reporter revealed on Wednesday that pets’ corner’s donkeys could be put down if they could not be re-homed.
Following a public outcry, council chiefs announced they had now found a new home for the animals.
But that has not quelled anger that the petting zoo, which has been a popular visitor attraction in Sherdley Park for decades, will be closed.
A number of readers, posting on our Facebook page, have expressed their anger at the decision, which council chiefs say is essential to help save £2.23m for the authority’s environmental services budget.
Tim Smith wrote: “Doesn’t anyone wonder who was behind the decision of putting them down anyway?”
Hazel Woodward added: “I’m disgusted that they are closing pets corner, to be honest, let alone them discussing putting these donkeys down for no reason.
“If they had asked pets corner users I imagine most would have been happy to make a little donation each visit to keep it open.”
Sarah Clough added: “Our town is going down hill. Nothing good for the children in St Helens only have to look at the likes of Warrington to see St Helens is being left behind.
“Pets corner could have been something nice for the community but instead being closed down!”
Elaine Minney posted: “Can’t believe pets corner is closing. Using the excuse of government cuts is a bit of a weak excuse. It has been open for as long as I can remember, throughout the 60s and then the 70s and 80s when the government really had no money.”
Nicky Dee added: “It’s sad. Meg loved those donkeys. Why don’t they get rid of some useless councillors. Save money that way.”
A St Helens Council Spokesperson said: “With the council needing to find £2.23m in savings from its environmental service budget during 2017/18, a decision has been made to close Pet’s Corner in Sherdley Park.
“All the animals are now in the process of being re-homed.
“For the welfare of the two donkeys there, they are being collected by their owners to be transported to a holding farm where they will be cared for by members of a donkey sanctuary team.”