Park shut because council could not afford to replace sand to reopen

Bowers Avenue park remained shut due to broken glass in both sandpits. Norwich City Council says it

Bowers Avenue park has been shut due to the glass in the sandpits. - Credit: Archant

A children's park, shut for months because council bosses could not afford to remove glass from its sandpits, is due to reopen by the summer.

Vandals left shattered glass strewn over two sandpits in Bowers Avenue park, in Mile Cross, Norwich, during the coronavirus lockdown last year.

It led to Norwich City Council closing the park. A sign on the gate stated it would have to remain shut due to the anti-social behaviour.

Bowers Avenue park remained shut due to broken glass in both sandpits. Norwich City Council says it

Bowers Avenue Park in Mile Cross. - Credit: Archant

The council said that was because it did not have the money to remove and replenish the sand.

However, the council has confirmed that it has now secured money to replace the sandpits with grass and safety netting.

And the intention is to get the play area updated and open again in time for the summer.

Matthew Packer, Labour candidate for Sewell. Pic: Labour Party.

Matthew Packer, Norwich City Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing. - Credit: Labour Party

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Matthew Packer, cabinet member for health and wellbeing at the Labour-controlled council, said: "We have spoken to the local community and they have told us that there have been ongoing issues with vandalism in this play area and this has meant they have been unable to fully enjoy it.

"I’m delighted that we have managed to secure approximately £50,000 of community infrastructure levy funding to invest in this area.

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"At a point when central government has continued to reduce local government funding, accessing additional and external pots has become more necessary than ever.

"The intention is to re-landscape, replace the sandpits with grass and safety matting and update the play equipment, which will address the issues experienced and so that for the summer, families will once again have a play space they can enjoy to the full.”

There have been calls for the council to take action in another Norwich park, where anti-social behaviour has led to shards of glass being scattered in sand where children play.

Duoro Place playground in Norwich

Concerns have been raised over broken glass at the Douro Place playground in Norwich. - Credit: Norwich Green Party

The council agreed in November 2019, to replace the sand in the park at Douro Place with a safer surface.

But, at a council meeting last month, Green city councillor Denise Carlo, who represents Nelson ward, questioned why that had not yet happened.

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Denise Carlo, Green city councillor for Nelson ward. - Credit: Archant

The council said the coronavirus pandemic had meant the work had been put on hold.

A spokesperson said, as lockdown eases, the programme of work, including for the Douro Place park, would be reviewed.

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