We had a great meeting in Walton Park, talking about young people and children and how they use the parks.
It was a beautiful afternoon and we really enjoyed our walk round the park, learning about its successes and challenges.
The two biggest issues are anti-social behaviour after hours and the failure of the council to provide any graffiti removal service.
In terms of this latter problem, we were shown photos of how great the playground equipment looked last year when it was installed and what a good thing the fitness trail is. Unfortunately neither look like that any more, both are blighted with serious scale graffiti, very off-putting for families and their children, although the equipment was still in good use.
Apparently Glendale, the partners who are looking after the care of our parks dont deal with graffiti and the council has not asked Enterprise - the contractors who clean everything else up in the city (allegedly) to do this either.
This will have to be addressed in our final report as it is a real disappointment.
The anti-social behaviour is around large groups of young people congregating at evening weekends and bringing alcohol and making a nuisance of themselves and also youngsters riding illegal motorbikes round the park at all hours - indeed one drove past us while we were looking round. We are having a session on security in parks soon when we will need to address this firmly.
There is also a now abandoned area which used to house pets, it really needs bringing back into use and the council promised the Friends Group at our meeting that they will meet them to talk about options for this.
Great sporting facilities though and being a hot sunny day in the school holidays, the place was buzzing with activity.