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Litter louts taint parks new look


Empty cans and used condoms littered a children’s play area just a week after £42,000-worth of improvements were completed.

New equipment at the play area on the corner of Lawrence Street and Welbeck Avenue, Newark, includes a big swing, a climbing frame and balance beams.

The improvements were welcomed by parents and children but after the weekend the site was covered in litter.

Mrs Sam Hope, of Lawrence Street, was disgusted when she saw the mess on Saturday morning.

She said she saw condoms, bottles, cans, clothes and chip papers.

“I really didn’t particularly want my children playing over there with that kind of thing about. It wasn’t pleasant at all,” she said.

“If any parents walked past on that morning they wouldn’t have wanted to take their children in there.”

Mrs Hope believed local children were not responsible for the mess because they had been waiting for improvements for years.

She blamed young people from other areas of Newark.

“Children around here do look after it and it would be a shame if the others from around the town spoilt it for them,” she said.

She said adults, wearing gloves, put some of the rubbish into bins.

Before the problems at the weekend, Mrs Hope’s daughter, Megan (6) said the improvements had made it the best play area in Newark.

The improvements were paid for with part of a £246,301 National Lottery grant to Newark and Sherwood District Council.

Money also came from the district council, Newark and Sherwood Homes, and planning development agreements.

Mrs Hope is among parents calling for finishing touches to be carried out, such as the painting of boundary railings, removal of bushes, and the painting of double yellow lines on roads next to the park.

Mr Laurence Goff, of the area’s tenants and residents’ association, said he was happy to have seen people enjoying the park but wanted the litter problem to stop.

“I would like to stress that many of the youths are well behaved. It is the small minority who ruin it for others,” he said.

He said police patrols would discourage anti-social behaviour and that more bins were needed.

Miss Katie Davis, of Cliff Nook Lane, has taken her daughter, Kira (6) to the park and was impressed with the new equipment.

She supported calls for the removal of bushes and bark because it was dirty and dangerous for children, and called for double yellow lines on the corner of Lawrence Street and Welbeck Avenue to make it safer for children to cross.

The parks and amenities manager at the district council, Mr Phil Beard, said Newark and Sherwood Homes managed the site and had a maintenance contract with the council to carry out any work.

“Part of this contract would involve pruning trees or shrubs if requested by Newark and Sherwood Homes,” he said.

“The maintenance contract also covers regular litter-picking which we carry out as early in the day as possible.”

He said a litter-pick took place on Monday.

Mr Beard said any decision on whether to remove shrubs or paint the railings would be made by Newark and Sherwood Homes.

Improvements are planned at six Newark play areas. Lawrence Street was the first.

Work on the park behind Queen’s Court, on Lover’s Lane, is next.

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