RAYLEIGH Town Council has refused to fork out nearly £13,000 to secure parks managed by Rochford District Council in the town.

The district council excluded the expense of locking and unlocking parks from their budget when it was agreed in 2013, meaning gates were permanently left open.

Rayleigh Town Council raised concerns about how safe the parks are at night, but the district authority has asked it to pay the fee itself.

A quote for £12,775 was received to lock and unlock the five gates at King George’s playing field in Ashingdon and Brooklands and Fairview parks in Rayleigh.

At a recent full council meeting, the cpouncildecided not to pay the fee.

In an e-mail to the town council, Rochford District councillor for environmental health services, Richard Evans, said antisocial behaviour in the Rayleigh parks is not significant compared to other areas.

He said: “I can advise that while the district is prepared to provide some funding for this purpose it is considered essential that your council also contributes towards these costs.”