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Vandals’ glass spree shuts city park indefinitely

PUBLISHED: 14:33 19 September 2020 | UPDATED: 09:00 20 September 2020

Bowers Avenue park remained shut due to broken glass in both sandpits. Norwich City Council says it does not have the budget to replenish the sand. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Bowers Avenue park remained shut due to broken glass in both sandpits. Norwich City Council says it does not have the budget to replenish the sand. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Archant

A city park which has remained shut due to broken glass has not been able to reopen as the council currently “does not have the budget” for the clean up operation.

Bowers Avenue park remained shut due to broken glass in both sandpits. Norwich City Council says it does not have the budget to replenish the sand. Picture: Ruth LawesBowers Avenue park remained shut due to broken glass in both sandpits. Norwich City Council says it does not have the budget to replenish the sand. Picture: Ruth Lawes

Shattered glass strewn over two sand pits has meant that Bowers Avenue park, in Mile Cross, has not opened since the start of lockdown.

During the pandemic, a large quantity of glass was smashed over the playground by vandals.

Marcel and Leanne Atkinson, both 31, live opposite Bowers Avenue park in Mile Cross. Picture: Ruth LawesMarcel and Leanne Atkinson, both 31, live opposite Bowers Avenue park in Mile Cross. Picture: Ruth Lawes

But Norwich City Council said it did not have the budget to clear up the play area and, as a result, it would remain closed for the foreseeable future.

The cost of replacing the sand is likely to be around £12,000.

Families living nearby the park said the closure came as no surprise as it was “always covered with glass”.

Marcel Atkinson, a carpenter, has lived with his wife Leanne, a full time mum, and his three children aged seven, five and two opposite the park for one and a half years.

The 31-year-old said: “We rarely used the park as it was always full of glass. Even if you went down the slide there would be glass around the sides.

“It’s a shame that this park is like this, as it’s on our doorstep and would be handy, but it’s not the end of the world.

“We just go to other parks instead, such as Sloughbottom, Eaton or Earlham.”

Rachel Akhidenor, who works at Asda, said she avoided taking her daughter, aged seven, to the park as it was a hot spot for anti-social behaviour.

The 46-year-old said: “It’s concerning as you don’t want that on your doorstep and it has always been known that there is glass there.

“It just puts you off going there really.”

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A spokesperson for Norwich City Council said: “Careless acts like this can have far and wide-reaching effects for others. There are now families who are unable to visit this play area and any money that is used to clear up messes like this, is money we then wouldn’t have to deliver other services to communities.

“If people in the area are aware of and experiencing anti-social behaviour, we urge them to either report it to us, or the police, where relevant, so we can work together to resolve issues and ensure people feel safe and secure where they live.”


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