A PARK recently handed a prestigious award no longer deserves the accolade due to poor maintenance by Haringey Council, its own supporters say.

Downhills Park, off Philip Lane, has won Green Flag status every year since 2006 but residents say cuts have meant it is no longer looked after and weeds have sprung up.

Friends of Downhills Park, a group of supporters, labelled the decline “deplorable” and warned this may be the last time the green space wins the award unless the situation improves.

Rodd Wells, joint secretary of the group, said: “We are really upset. A lot of people are upset within the friends group because we have been proud of the park.

“People really enjoy it and people got quite attached. They were outraged when we went back to the park manager saying we would like this maintenance done and he said ‘we cannot do it because of the budget cuts’.”

He added: “I don’t think the green flag award would be justified now because of the maintenance. It was probably okay when it was inspected.

“If they came today I’m sure the park wouldn’t be awarded it because of the state of the Italian gardens.”

Friends groups across the borough have set up a petition in an effort to force the council to look again at the cuts and if it reaches 2,200 signatures there will have to be a debate on the subject.

To sign the petition click here.

The Haringey Independent has contacted Haringey Council for a comment and is awaiting a reply.

Clare Saul, a spokesman for Haringey Council, said: “Because of Government cuts to our budget we’re having to make tough decisions about services across the council. The council’s parks and open spaces maintenance budget for 2011/12 has been cut by 50 per cent.

“As a result of the budget cuts, we’re currently reorganising the grounds maintenance team so that – to the best of our ability – the borough’s parks and open spaces remain clean, safe and fun places to be.

“We’re working with the Haringey Friends of Parks Forum and other park users on how we can all mitigate the impact of the cuts.”