Leaked consultation papers reveal opposition to shake-up at Victoria Park in Portsmouth

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LEAKED papers show people have objected to parts of a proposed shake-up at Victoria Park, The News can reveal.

The city council has run a consultation over the park’s action plan but has not yet released the results.

But papers, obtained by The News, show nearly 70 per cent of 546 people said no to opening the park for 24 hours a day.

And about the same number of people said yes when asked if the current selection of animals or birds are right for the Victoria Park enclosure.

More than 65 per cent of people said the enclosure is in a good location – but then 49 per cent said no to relocating the aviary near to the lodge to create a petting zoo. Around 35 per cent said yes.

Council officers wrote in the document: ‘This may suggest that people may be open to a move, should the offer be clear and they have a good understanding.

‘It could be argued more discussion and a firmer plan may help residents to understand the possibilities.’

The comment suggests the council could go back and consult again with a clearer plan.

Councillor Linda Symes, cabinet member for culture, has insisted the answers will be taken into account.

‘We have consultations so we can look at it and take those people’s views into account or to be aware,’ she said.

Cllr Symes added: ‘I imagine that those views will be taken into account and the document will be made on those outcomes. What people are worried about is that the enclosure is very old now.’

Leader of the council, Tory Donna Jones, has previously said the authority has no plans to remove birds or animals from the park but said the aviary was poor and under-used.

Other responses to the plan supported public toilets being introduced, hosting charity, community or open theatre days, and allowing temporary concessions.

Lib Dem opposition councillor Darren Sanders said: ‘Given this information it’s no surprise that the council doesn’t want to release the results of its own consultation to Victoria Park.

‘It’s clear that people across the city want the aviary to stay where it is.

‘They don’t want 24-hour opening.

‘The council should come clean and work with people to develop a great future for one of the jewels in our city.’

Around 67 per cent of people said the council should be improving the quality of the lodge.