Residents saddened by closure of north Derbyshire playground demand more facilities for children

Residents in a north Derbyshire village say they are saddened by the closure of a playground which has been plagued by anti-social behaviour.

Monday, 25th April 2022, 3:50 pm

Bolsover District Council has taken the ‘difficult decision’ to shut the Cross Street playground, in Hillstown, near Bolsover, due to older children causing a nuisance, taking drugs and damaging equipment.

Scarcliffe Parish Council is taking legal action, but as it stands the play equipment must be removed withing four weeks.

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Hillstown residents say they are saddened by the closure of a playground which has been plagued by anti-social behaviour.

Many residents say they can see both sides of the argument.

Ryan Edward, posting on our Facebook page, said: “I appreciate both sides, but does anyone really think this action will resolve anti social behaviour?

"It will be back to waste ground/car park and most likely remain a meeting point for any miscreants. Resolve the issue not the symptom.”

Tracey Holmes posted: “So typical of authorities these days, too afraid to tackle the real issues.

"Much rather deprive the youngsters who probably use the playground as it should be used. There’s hardly anything for youngsters to do as it is.”

Francesca McCann added: “Why close a park? Why not open a youth club or encourage sport clubs?”

Bolsover District Council said its decision follows ‘a catalogue of incidents of nuisance, anti-social behaviour and criminality’, including the use of violence, threats and criminal damage aimed at local neighbours and the community, together with allegations of drugs use.

A spokesperson added: “Attempts to resolve the problems over the past 13 months, using both the council’s own powers and in conjunction with the police and lessee have unfortunately failed to resolve the problems which have persisted. Forfeiture of the lease was a last resort.

"It is unfortunate that a minority of irresponsible users of the park have behaved in such a way that has led to this decision having to be made.

"The district council takes this action in line with its duty to prevent crime and anti-social behaviour and to help protect local communities from behaviour of this kind.”