Shirebrook Town Park

Posted Fri, 26th May 2017 by Jennifer Jeffery

You will recall in March we issued a statement regarding damage to the not yet complete new park and the security fencing around it.

Despite overwhelming public support of our efforts, the damage to that fencing continued nightly. The damage was so bad that the fencing company are now looking at recouping replacement costs from the Council. This won't just be a few hundred pounds. A number of names have been reported to the police.

Last week the actual park fence was complete and the park opened to the public, and it makes me incredibly sad to report that every day we are receiving reports from genuine members of the public and their families to say that the park is being misused, mostly by older children and teenagers. We have had reports of stones being thrown glass bottles being thrown, scooters being taken on the park and used on the trampoline (this will break it), foul and abusive language being used towards families who ask for better behaviour and probably worst of all several reports of older 'children' bullying smaller children, stopping them from using the equipment and being generally menacing.

Believe it or not we have also had a dog walker letting their dog onto the park so it can run around safely without escaping while they relax and enjoy a rest and ignore the dog mess left behind.

Yesterday morning, for the second time, I had it reported to me that the wheelchair swing had been damaged. We were very conscious when designing the park that people of all abilities should have an opportunity to play in the area and now this specialist piece of equipment is being damaged by gangs of teenagers, and in some cases older primary school age children, misusing it to such a level that within a week of being opened repairs have been needed twice.

This morning I was contacted by staff opening up the Leisure Centre at 7am to say that there was obvious damage to the newly planted community orchard. This orchard has been planted with the help of primary school children from across the town and until last night was a beautiful addition to the park. On attending site I discovered it was much worse than originally thought. 27 trees have been damaged/pulled up. There has been a fire in the middle of the field. The bins have been tipped up on the park creating litter to such an extent that it was unusable until staff cleared it. A barbecue had clearly been had near the bandstand, which in itself is no major issue but the empty cans, bottles and waste left behind, including actual barbecue tools, creates a hazard for other users of the park.

The Town Council have always wanted to create a multi-functional recreational space that the whole family can enjoy and the works completed so far on site are just the beginning of the plans for the park. We conducted a huge amount of public consultation and have received fantastic support from the community who have all seemed delighted and excited for the development to progress.

We will not let these mindless acts of a few individuals stop the progress of the wonderful Town Park that we want to create but we need your help. Let's show these individuals that Shirebrook deserves better.

Please report any general incidents that you whiteness to Leisure Centre staff or criminal incidents directly to the police.

All information received will be treated in the strictest of confidence.

Mrs Jennifer Jeffery
Town Clerk & RFO
Shirebrook Town Council

Town Council Offices, 54 Patchwork Row
Shirebrook, Derbyshire, NG20 8AL
Telephone: 01623 742475
Facsimile: 01623 742544