Wellingborough park safety concern for users

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173336005
Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173336005

A Wellingborough resident living close to an estate park has highlighted his concerns over the anti-social behaviour shown by some users.

Phil Miles, who uses Redwell Park regularly, has become increasingly frustrated by the type and amount of rubbish being discarded on the grass.

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173348005

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173348005

The park next to Redwell Leisure Centre has become a focal point for youths, some of whom have been drinking and others misusing Nitrous Oxide cannisters.

Popular with dog walkers, the park often has rubbish left on the grass especially after warm weather which has concerned Mr Miles.

He said: “A large amount of litter is being discarded on the field by irresponsible youths and it’s becoming a daily occurrence.

“It’s got to the point that it isn’t safe to walk our dogs out there due to bottle tops, broken glass and aerosol canisters that we’ve encountered.

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173400005

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173400005

“The dogs are constantly picking up debris which they chew, and could potential choke on.

“It’s becoming more and more difficult to walk them as we are constantly having to take a bin bag and collect the litter before we can let them loose.

“I know of one dog which had to have emergency surgery because they swallowed a bottle top and another owner said a dog had died from eating the rubbish left there.”

Mr Miles and his wife have been litter picking, mangaging to fill two black bin bags with bottles, wrappers and Nitrous Oxide cannisters left by the teenagers.

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173413005

Redwell Park, litter problem at park next to new 3G pitch and redwell leisure centre, wellingborough NNL-190708-173413005

On-going work installing on the new 3G £600,000 pitch next to Redwell Leisure Centre has meant that several bins have become inaccessible, although there are bins at both official entrances to the park.

Mr Miles would like to see regular patrols, fines for littering and a crack down on underage drinking as well as action on the misuse of laughing gas.

When contacted by Mr Miles about the problem Wellingborough Norse cleansing manager Steve Dunkley said: “I have worked on enforcement and education for Wellingborough for the last 12 years.

“We have always carried out some level of enforcement and education for all environmental crimes

“I have worked with Keep Britain Tidy on various national campaigns focusing on challenging behaviours of those that choose to litter - unfortunately the messages we have tried to put out is often ignored.

“We don’t use signage for littering as any signage we have used before has been ignored and/or damaged.

“We will carry out enforcement where possible but this exact same issue is happening in every park, particularly through summer evenings and weekends.

“We have authorised officers who can enforce as part of their role but our resource is limited.”

Redwell Ward councillor Malcolm Waters said: “We have had problems with youths congregating around the leisure centre car park.

“We stopped that problem by having the car park barrier lowered at 10pm to stop cars from entering - it’s had a positive effect.

“I’m aware that there have been gas cannisters found but that is an issue for the police.

“We need to do something about the cans and bottles, perhaps a return to a refund system for bottles.

“We know where the hot spots for litter are so it would be good to have wardens.”

Mr Miles added: “Something needs to be done about the park. Every morning I find something else on the field - this morning it was a broken vodka bottle and a razor blade.

“They leave bottle tops and chewing gum both of which are very dangerous for dogs if they eat them.

“It’s not rocket science. If a car was speeding then you’d expect to be fined and it should be the same for littering.”

Leader of Wellingborough Council, Cllr Martin Griffiths, said: “We are lucky to have a vast range of green open spaces across the borough which are enjoyed by residents throughout the year.

“We provide litter bins throughout the borough for residents and visitors to dispose of their rubbish, which are emptied frequently. However, there are a small minority of people who do not use the bins provided, or take their litter home, and instead discard of this in the public spaces.

“There is no excuse for littering, and the environmental protection act 1990 provides officers with the rights to prosecute anyone found to be littering with a fine of up to £2,500.

“Colleagues from Wellingborough Norse have displayed informative posters in response concerns from residents, and increased our litterpicking schedule on the park.

“I would like to remind all residents and visitors to help us in our mission to ensure that our open spaces can be enjoyed by everyone, and dispose of their items responsibly.

“If you do notice that one of our bins is full, please take your litter home or pop it in the nearest bin, and give us a call to let us know, or report this via our website. If we all do our bit, we can enjoy litter free spaces together.”