Chesterfield school apologises after park left in 'disgraceful' state by parting students
A Chesterfield secondary school has apologised after a park was left in a ‘disgraceful’ state when students descended for leaving parties.
Outwood Academy Newbold said it will work with young people to try to avoid a repeat of the scenes at Holmebrook Valley Park last Friday – when the popular open space was left strewn with litter and debris.
However, resident Mike Myers, who lives next to the park, said ‘young people having a good time’ was not the primary problem and said he felt ‘let down’ by Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC).
Mr Myers wrote in a letter to council leader Tricia Gilby: “I do not, like many residents, aim my frustrations at the local schools for what happened but direct them at CBC without hesitation, and to the same degree parents who may have failed in their responsibilities to set a good example to their offspring.”
He questioned why bins in the park were ‘locked away’ and urged council park teams to ‘engage’ with young people.
A Chesterfield Borough Council spokesperson said the authority took ‘great pride’ in ensuring the borough’s green spaces are well presented and free from litter.
“We have around thirty public bins in Holmebrook Valley Park, which are emptied regularly and so there is no excuse for people not to properly dispose of their litter in the bins when leaving the park,” he added.
“Chesterfield Borough Council recognises its duties and takes its responsibilities very seriously, but these duties and responsibilities equally apply to people visiting and spending time in our green spaces.
“It is difficult to predict where young people will congregate and the council does not have the resources to have staff available to attend all of our green spaces at all times, but we do respond and clear litter as swiftly as possible.
"Following the events of Friday, staff attended early on Saturday morning to commence the removal of the litter and to ensure Holmebrook Valley Park was clean and safe for visitors to enjoy over the weekend.
“Chesterfield Borough Council also undertakes regular engagement activity to try and reduce litter and anti-social behaviour within our green spaces.
"We’ve recently started a series of visits in conjunction with the local emergency services to engage with young people and educate them about the potential risks they face but may not be aware of, and to remind them about how their behaviour affects local residents and visitors.”
A spokesperson for Outwood Academy Newbold said the school had been disappointed to hear about the state the park was left in.
"As a school we are committed to the community we proudly serve and we are sorry to be informed that some of our students may have been responsible for the recent littering,” he said.
"We continuously remind our students of their responsibilities to the community when they are outside the school and this responsibility is embraced by many of our students, who have proposed activities such as litter picking in the past to give back to the community.
"However it is disappointing that unfortunately a minority of students have not met the behaviour standards expected of them this time.
"We would be happy to discuss ways to move forward with the relevant partners to try and ensure there isn't a repeat of this incident."