Joy as new play area opens

A NEW £100,000 children's play area on land previously used by prostitutes and drug users is today open in Ipswich.The brightly-coloured play area, in Alderman Road park, has been created in a modern style with a rubber floor surface to protect those who use it.

A NEW £100,000 children's play area on land previously used by prostitutes and drug users is today open in Ipswich.

The brightly-coloured play area, in Alderman Road park, has been created in a modern style with a rubber floor surface to protect those who use it.

There are also tall metal railings to cordon off the play area but leaving it visible at all times.

The money came from the Ipswich council's liveability fund and provided funding for the second wave of work after a teenage play arena was built.

Steve Simpson, landscape development officer for the council, said: "We are thrilled to be able to open the play area.

"It has taken a long time to be built and a lot of people have worked very hard to get it to this stage."

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When the council first released plans to build the play area, nearby residents complained that used condoms and hypodermic syringes scattered on the park made them too scared to use it.

Last year the area was subject to a torrent of criticism.

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: "There are constantly condoms thrown in the park and in our gardens.

"What is the point of putting in a nice play area if the council can't be bothered to come and clear those up.

"The only way they can get rid of the problem is by having more police provision and CCTV cameras."

However, a further £45,000 was earmarked to improve safety of the park and today CCTV cameras watch over those who use the area.

Councillor David Ellesmere, said: "We were not prepared to let an area go and have fought hard to reclaim it for the residents.

"There is now better lighting installed and CCTV cameras in place."

Councillor Inga Lockington echoed Mr Ellesmere's view.

She said: "We can't just throw our hands up and say there is nothing we can do for this area because of the people who use it at the moment.

"We have actively tried to make the area safer and hope the residents will start to use it again."

Do you think CCTV will make the area safe to use? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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