Safety fears have been raised about a troubled recreation park in Shrewsbury after officials identified a litany of problems with the site following a ‘lack of investment for the past four years’.
Issues such as obscene graffiti, poor security and broken fencing at Monkmoor Recreation Ground have been identified by Shrewsbury Town Council, which took over the site from Shropshire Council in July.
And council officials have said a ‘considerable amount’ of work is needed at the site to bring it up to standard.
A letter from Mike Cox, outdoor recreation and asset manager for the town council, to David Kilby, secretary of the Shropshire Playing Fields Association, said a series of problems had been identified as far back as last October.
“We identified a number of issues that were to be addressed by the previous owners, but these failed to materialise,” he said.
“Issues include improving security, improving security cameras, cleaning and repairing the old tennis courts, repairing fencing where holes had been made, jet washing and spraying the new tennis courts to reduce the risk of slipping, removing shrubs from the car park to improve visibility, improving existing street lights, replacing existing bins, repairing the tarmac surface where the old skateboard facility was, removal of obscene graffiti, removal of dangerous picnic benches and replacing outdated signage and notice boards.”
Mr Cox added: “We have a considerable amount of work to bring the site up to what we consider a satisfactory standard to reverse the rot due to the lack of investment for the past four years. Once we are happy with the infrastructure, local confidence has returned and users can be assured of a safe and welcoming visit, we can then look to what the future needs are.”
Town council officials have said vandals caused more than £1,000 worth of damage in the month since they took over, with officers called out more than 50 times.
Councillor Steve Charmley, Shropshire Council cabinet member for leisure services, said: “We have worked with Shrewsbury Town Council over a considerable amount of time in the collective belief that handing Monkmoor Recreation Ground to the town council was the best way forward.”