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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Dalton mothers hit out over condition of play area

FED-UP mums have hit out after growing sick of finding a park in a “dangerous” state when they take their children to play.

Mum-of-two Lisa Smith described the play area near Dalton Leisure Centre as “appalling”.

She spoke to the Evening Mail after her son found a potentially dangerous length of rope fastened to the top of the large slide and unopened cans of cider left in the park.

Mrs Smith said it appeared the park, which opened last summer, was poorly monitored after she repeatedly found broken glass and rubbish there.

The 36-year-old, of Newton Road, Dalton, said: “I would be confident that whenever you go to the park, you would be appalled. It’s strewn with rubbish and it was never finished off right in the first place.

“There’s patches of dirt all over the place and it’s not a nice place for kids to play.

“It has no CCTV, it’s not lit at night and it seems after the sun goes down it’s where all the young ones go with their cans of Strongbow and whatever else and it’s just disgusting.”

Mrs Smith also takes children aged two to four to the park as part of her role at the Dalton-based Jack and Jill Playgroup, but only feels comfortable to let them play in the enclosed area at the bottom.

She said: “We are getting to the point where we don’t want to go on there with the kids because it’s dangerous. When we go with the kids, we have to do a visual sweep of the area and pick up the rubbish. I’m getting to the point where I don’t want to take my kids, who are eight and four. It’s something we’ve needed in Dalton for a long time and now it doesn’t seem to be cared for. It’s a shame.”

Tanya Slee’s 11-year-old son Ryan Fagan had to undergo an operation after he fell on broken beer bottles at the park, severely injuring his abdomen. She said: “I’ve noticed they’ve made more effort to tidy it up, but there’s still glass everywhere. It’s not really changed. It’s full of teenagers all the time.

“It might look a bit better on the inside, but on the edges it’s just as bad.”

Bill Brown, Barrow Borough Council’s parks manager, said the playground was very popular with children and is regularly inspected and cleaned at least three times a week, and more at busier times such as school holidays.

He disputed whether there was always glass on the site and said the council had a difficult task in monitoring 45 parks across the borough. Mr Brown stressed it was hard to keep playgrounds tidy around the clock, especially when rubbish is left just after cleaning has been carried out.

He said: “I can understand parents’ concerns, but we do everything that’s reasonably practical to keep play areas as safe as possible.”

Have your say

What has happened to parents looking after there own teens/chavs, disapline & respect don't exist because there parents don't care.

Posted by dalton resident on 13 April 2012 at 12:53

The installation of CCTV would do little to solve the problem. They cost a lot of money to install and they need to be monitored by someone to have any effect. The funding of the current CCTV is under a cloud and they are not monitored now 24hrs a day. The police cannot be there all the time, it is simply not possible.
I would suggest a couple of things. Residents call the police when there is an on going issue on the park. Bear in mind that the Police are busy at the best of times. The council get some of the park wardens from Barrow Park to come and patrol this one. Lighting is installed to deter people gathering at night times. Street cleaners who are employed to keep Barrow Town centre clean every morning especially outside the town hall are instead sent to the Park.

Posted by Steve on 12 April 2012 at 17:28

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