Call for action after yob attacks on park

Councillors (left to right) Alison Lilley, Geoff Lilley and Steve Gibbon at Rossmere Park
Councillors (left to right) Alison Lilley, Geoff Lilley and Steve Gibbon at Rossmere Park

COUNCILLORS say more should be done about the state of a popular park after it was targeted by yobs in two attacks.

Rossmere Park, off Rossmere Way, in Hartlepool, is popular with grandparents, mums, dads, youths, small children, dog walkers and fishermen, although the picturesque location has recently been spoiled by vandals.

Now councillors for the area say they fear the park could be going “downhill” after being targeted by yobs who empties bins around the park in one attack and arsonists even burned down a brand new play house installed by Hartlepool Borough Council at a cost of thousands of pounds.

Today, Councillors Steve Gibbon, and Alison and Geoff Lilley, Putting Hartlepool First representatives of the Fens and Rossmere ward, said they want the park to be kept in tip-top shape, similar to the town’s Ward Jackson Park.

Council bosses say they work very hard to look after the town’s parks using limited resources and urge people to report anti-social behaviour and criminal activity to police.

Coun Geoff Lilley told the Hartlepool Mail: “It used to be one of the bonniest parks in the town, but we seem to see a lot of resources go to Ward Jackson Park.

“Ward Jackson is a lovely park, but Rossmere Park is a lovely park also. Once a park sets into a spiral of decline it will continue to go downhill, and it seems with Rossmere we might be seeing the start of that. It’s a crying shame, it’s showing all the signs of neglect. It’s one of the few places in the area where parents can take young children to play, and it was once a popular place for fishermen too.”

Coun Alison Lilley added: “If the place was tidier with less litter strewn about, people will be less likely to drop litter. If the place is covered in rubbish then people are more inclined to not care and drop even more rubbish.

“The play area is horrendous as well. We need to bring it back up to a vibrant standard where people from all over the town can come as an alternative to Ward Jackson Park. All the money and resources should not only go there.”

And Coun Gibbon said: “It’s a focal point and an asset to the south of the town and for people to start using it again we need to make it look nicer and improve on the work that has already been done.”

A spokesman for Hartlepool Borough Council said: “Regrettably, all of our parks suffer from anti-social behaviour and vandalism on occasions. Over the Bank Holiday weekend, we are aware that some litter bins were emptied by vandals and rubbish was strewn on and around the lake.

“Part of the play area has also been targeted previously by vandals, but we will be carrying out improvements in the near future. As a council we work very hard to look after our parks with limited resources and we would urge people to report anti-social behaviour and criminal activity to the police.”

Earlier this week the Mail reported how duck eggs had been stolen from the island in the centre of the pond and ducks had started nesting in residents’ plant pots at a nearby housing complex.

Anyone with any information about anti-social behaviour at the park should contact police on 101.