Open meeting over vandalism-hit park

David Meagher from The Friends of Rockingham Road Pleasure Park
David Meagher from The Friends of Rockingham Road Pleasure Park

An open meeting is to take place to discuss the plans for a park which saw some of its play equipment destroyed by vandals a week ago.

The Friends of Rockingham Road Pleasure Park group is holding the event from 7pm on Monday, September 2, at the Bowls Pavilion in the Rockingham Road Park.

Chairman of the friends group David Meagher said the unscheduled meeting had partly been prompted by last week’s attack on the play facilities, which saw a popular helter skelter slide destroyed by fire and damage caused to some nearby swings.

He added: “We are due to have some new outdoor gym equipment installed in the park in late September or October, so the meeting will also be discussing ways we can protect that from being damaged.

“It is supposed to be very robust equipment but, as the saying goes, locks are for honest people so we want to be absolutely sure that the equipment can be protected.

“Even if the equipment itself is robust, someone could always set fire to an adjacent bin or something like that, which would still damage it.”

Apart from the fire and the new equipment, Mr Meagher said another agenda item will discuss the park’s community first plan – a document which could see the park allocated grant funds.

He said: “A separate group had been set up to discuss the plan, but they have found it difficult to find convenient times for meetings so we have decided to amalgamate their group with the friends group to get things moving.

“We don’t want to lose out on any grant funds the park may be entitled to.”

Since last week’s attack on the play facilities, the helter skelter slide has been removed and looks unlikely to be replaced.

The damage to the swings has been repaired.

Mr Meagher condemned last week’s vandals as ‘selfish, brainless idiots’ and said the damage had spoiled enjoyment of the park for younger children.

Kettering councillor Michael Brown said: “I am absolutely livid that idiots like this feel they have the right to destroy what belongs to all of us. My kids, as I am sure like many others kids in the area, will be devastated to see this damage on their favourite park.

“I have had a meeting with the local police in the past week to discuss what we are going to try to do together to help with these kind of incidents.

“If anyone knows of any information at all about this incident I urge them to tell the police so they can catch these disrespectful individuals.”