Keep the amenities open

Myself and local Green Party activist Chris Rigby are working to get Winton Library Gardens reopened. This is a lovely space that should be available to be enjoyed by local residents. At the council meeting on 19th June I asked about the gardens which have been closed for too long.

Winton Library Gardens are not the only amenity that we, the residents, are missing out on due apparently to anti-social behaviour. If we keep closing facilities every time there is some kind of problem we will have nothing left open. The toilets at Winton Recreation Ground seem to be permanently shut, these are important amenities for quality of life. People should be encouraged to use outdoor spaces for their health and enjoyment, having toilets on site is essential for parents with young children, the elderly, the disabled, and people with some medical conditions. Getting out and having exercise can improve people’s health and therefore reduce the cost to the NHS.

I am currently working to get the toilets on Winton Recreation ground opened at least during the day during the summer. They have been closed for a while due to anti-social behaviour including drug use. The clean-up costs each time they are misused; to remove blood, human waste / fluids is, I am told, £500 money that the Parks Department does not have in its budget.

The warm weather we have had in the last few weeks has increased the use of this popular park and having an open public toilet for residents and visitors to use is important. We want people to make the best use of the open green space and having no toilets can seriously restrict and prevent this. I am meeting with the parks department and the police later this week to see what can be done so that we can have the toilets available while deterring/preventing the anti-social elements.

Winton Rec. has seen a rise in anti-social behaviour over recent times including a burnt out car, stolen scooters driven and dumped and abuse of the toilets. I have done a number of litter picks across the park; on my own, with my children and with other residents, there is always plenty of other peoples’ rubbish to be found. There are bins about so why some choose not to use them I don’t know.

The park is an important space to me, and my family as it is for many local families. I have taken my children there from a young age, they have learnt to cycle there, played in the children’s play area and, the younger ones, in the sensory garden. The boys have used in for cubs and scouts, they have played tennis in the courts there. I have been pleased to be in a position to contribute Local Improvement Fund money to having a gate installed where previously the fence was repeatedly damaged by people climbing over and through it. I have offered some of this years reduced fund towards installing a people and dog water fountain which I hope will be of benefit as the summers get warmer.

Simon Bull