Fears grow as park trial begins

Solitude Park
Solitude Park

Councillor Junior McCrum has said he fears Solitude Park will return to being somewhere people cannot walk after a 24 hour trial opening of the park over the next two months began.

The pilot scheme in the park during August and September was discussed at council, after it appeared to go through committee undiscussed.

Last week the Leader revealed that it was unclear how the pilot scheme came to be passed. However, despite objection from councillors, the scheme has gone ahead, leading to fears of increased anti-social behaviour.

Councillor McCrum said he didn’t want to see the park return to what it used to be, a place people 
couldn’t walk through.

Mr McCrum commented: “This issue was discussed at council this week and it was said that this is only the first week of the pilot scheme.

“I don’t think any councillors are in support of it.

As I said before, £1.2 million has been spent on the park’s redevelopment and it was turned into a great place, a place where you could walk with your child or enjoy council events.

“I think being open to 10pm on summer nights is enough,” he said. “At the PSCP meeting the Commander said that due to manpower and the marching season, he hadn’t the manpower to give it the policing it needed.

“Yet a Sergeant said they would send patrols through. Who do you believe in that?” Councillor McCrum asked.

“A lot of pensioners living down opposite the park are concerned with the noise, shouting and getting on after 10 o’clock. They are already hearing that.”

• In last week’s report, the Leader referred to Councillor McCrum as the Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee. We would like to point out that Mr McCrum is no longer the Chair of this committee.