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Council acts to solve problems on popular city park

Published on Wednesday, April 19, 2017

THE city council is to suspend the use of barbecues on Watermead Park in a bid to stop anti-social behaviour there.

Large groups of people have been gathering on the park to have barbecues, many of them spreading out beyond the designated area.

Combined with the consumption of large volumes of alcohol and loud music, these events are intimidating other park users and are also resulting in huge amounts of litter being left there.

They are also causing congestion in neighbouring streets, with hundreds of cars regularly parked inconsiderately outside local residents’ homes.

Park users and local residents have complained about the noise, littering and anti-social behaviour taking place there.

Steve Palethorpe, the city council’s parks operational manager, said: “We want to make sure Watermead is a safe and welcoming place to visit for all park users.

“We have already begun advertising on site that barbecues will not be permitted at Watermead, with an introduction date of 28 April 2017. Once this is introduced, there will be regular patrols of the site by parks staff to monitor the situation.

“This will help to tackle some of the problems that nearby residents and park users have reported to us, and which our parks staff have regularly witnessed.”

Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor responsible for culture, leisure and sport, said: “Local councillors have agreed to temporarily suspend the barbecue area at Watermead, because of the problems it has been causing. We recognise this may be disappointing to some people, but felt we had to act because of the large amounts of litter, noise and disruption being reported at the barbecue site.

“Constantly cleaning up mess and litter from this site is not the best use of our resources.

“We’ll be reviewing the situation over the next few weeks, to decide whether picnic areas would be a better option and whether to make the suspension of barbecues permanent.

“We are also working to tackle congestion on neighbouring streets caused by visitors to the park, with a residents’ parking scheme set to be introduced soon.”