Fears broken glass could be issue for splash park planned for Fenland town
Plans for a water splash park has been labelled ‘an accident waiting to happen’ amid fears it could end up covered in glass and other rubbish.
The claims have been made by Mark Norris, director of All4Sports-Multi-sports4schools, who uses the nearby community tennis and basketball courts in Wisbech Town Park for PE lessons with local school pupils twice a week.
He said the situation with the broken glass left strewn across the courts has seen locals turn up to play tennis armed with a dustpan and brush to clear the dangerous debris away.
Mark said the situation is the same every morning and blames contractors paid by Fenland District Council for failing to clear the area properly.
"They come along empty the bins, check the toilets have not been vandalised and go off again leaving the rubbish for us to pick up," said Mark.
He said it is quite a concern to know that the nearby former bowls green has been ear marked for a children's splash park.
He said: “I’m shocked councillors haven’t looked into problems in the area and haven't got them sorted first.
"We have CCTV in the park but the bottles being thrown over the fence and the kids skidding round the courts on motorised scooters or some other motorised vehicles is either not being picked up, or is being ignored.
"Either way it is not good because I hate to think what could happen if glass is thrown into the splash park, it will be difficult to pick it out in the water and is an accident waiting to happen.
"The council say it will be monitored 24\7 but we already have the CCTV and that doesn't help what has been happening, so I'm not sure they can guarantee it will work when the splash park is built."
Mark first aired his thoughts on local Facebook pages and had a number of people supporting his concerns but since then Wisbech mayor Andrew Lynn has not only defended the plans but has vowed to get to the bottom of the situation and ensure it is sorted.
Mark said: "The mayor is very worried and wants to get it sorted, I believe he has taken the matter up with Fenland District Council, he seems very determined now he has been made aware of what has been happening in that area of the park."
Posting to Facebook Councillor Lynn explained the splash park was being funded with money specifically for that type of project, which was part of larger scheme for the town park.
He said Wisbech Town Council has a firm which carries out cleaning and maintenance looking after its assets, but the tennis courts and basketball court is the responsibility of Fenland Council.
He added: “I for one am glad that Wisbech is starting to get more things in and that’s because Wisbech Town Councillorss are much quicker than ever before at jumping on funding and creating projects that can and are winning these funding opportunities."
After being contacted for a comment Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland's portfolio holder responsible for parks and open spaces, said: “Our parks and open spaces contractor maintain this area on behalf of the council, checking the courts every week when they inspect the Wisbech Park play area. In light of these recent instances with broken glass, our street cleansing team will also now conduct daily checks at the courts to help support the contractor in keeping the area clean, safe and tidy in between their visits. Members of the public can also report broken glass and any other litter to us to be removed via our website at www.fenland.gov.uk/report.”