Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Play area neglected by Council's cleaners?

Today, as the sun had finally come out, I took my daughter Sophie to the park after nursery. As she ran around and I took photos of her gleefully putting "dogdog" into the seesaw or swings when to my horror and concern she came back clutching a WKD blue glass bottle.

I hurriedly removed it from her and put it in the bin. Then I took a serious look around the play area at Rookery fields Gillingham.

I know that play areas tend to attract a crowd of disaffected teens with "Nothing to do" and with this crowd comes a trail of devastation and litter. As I looked around I saw two crushed Coke cans, an empty can of Fosters, general litter and fag ends (despite the sign asking people to refrain from smoking). This was further compounded by the two teens sat on the larger swings trying to twist the chains up to the top and the other two hogging the seesaw. I know that this wave of litter can be unpredictable too so I'm not too concerned about that. Any large litter can be picked up and binned as I did with the WKD bottle.

What did get my attention was the broken glass beneath the Waste bin in the centre of the park.

Underneath it are shards of Green glass from a broken bottle - and they've been there for months. I first spotted them whilst putting something in the bin back on 6th May. I thought nothing of it and presumed that someone would sweep them up when the park was next cleaned.

I was wrong.

Two weeks ago I sent a fresh picture of the shards to the Medway Council Twitter feed as I didn't know quite what else to do about it as my out of date phone does not allow me to download the "LveMedway" app. (when I get my new Iphone however!!!) I also tweeted a picture of the melted bin in Livingston road at the same time. The bin was replaced in a week the glass still remains.

I am loathed to ask if anyone does actually clean the park? I've seen the street cleaners in there and I know large waste is picked up as I notice the day to day changes on my way to drop Sophie at Nursery but the play area is often missed. I must admit I saw the WKD bottle on the floor in there this morning as I walked past and in retrospect should have done something about it.

I don't want anyone to lose their job over this, nor do I want to go hunting for blame. What I'm asking is that our children's play areas are swept and have rubbish removed once a day. As you can see from the picture some of these shards are pretty nasty and it only takes a toddler to fall on them and be scarred for life.

The other option is to get all "Big Society" on their backsides and go around and do it myself and it came close but I find myself lacking time. I'm also loathed to say anything to teenagers loitering and littering as they usually outnumber me and since bad experiences at school I've been wary of large groups of teens.

Local Libdem Councillors Geoff Juby, Shelia Kearney (and Stephen Kearney before 2011) have worked hard to improve the playground facilities and park so we have a nice area to play and sit in the sun. I implore local residents to please pick up your litter afterwards and also to the Council to please get someone to regularly go in and sweep.


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