New teenage area on the way

WORK has started today to build a teenage play arena in an Ipswich park currently used by prostitutes.The project has received mixed views from residents who desperately want the area cleaned up but fear the council is making a half-hearted attempt to do so.

WORK has started today to build a teenage play arena in an Ipswich park currently used by prostitutes.

The project has received mixed views from residents who desperately want the area cleaned up but fear the council is making a half-hearted attempt to do so.

The Ipswich Borough Council is carrying out work on the arena, in Alderman Park, which will be built on a run down all-weather area.

But some residents feel that it is a waste of money for the area, which is notorious for use by prostitutes, drug dealers and pimps.


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One near-by 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 use of CCTV cameras."

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The arena will contain a pitch for football, hockey and basketball with two shelters and extra seating also being installed.

Existing floodlights will be maintained for use in winter months and lights will be switched off at 9.30pm.

Mother-of-two Sophie Magor, of Alderman Road, said: "I would be in favour of any improvement to the park as there is not a lot left there now. I don't understand why the council took the existing pitch away in the first place."

Terry Thomas, of Alderman Road, said: "Either the use of the park by other people will act as a deterrent to the prostitutes or it will draw them in because children will not be able to use it after 9.30pm.

"If the area becomes more busy then more people may visit it to pick up prostitutes and if it is sectioned off and becomes more secluded it may help prostitutes to use it discreetly."

It is thought the work will take three weeks to be carried out and when it is completed the council will install a steel fence around the park so it can be locked in the evenings.

The funding for the project has come from the Ipswich Borough Council's Capital programme and the council hopes to carry out a second phase of work as soon as it has the funding to do so.

The second phase will see two more play areas for smaller children being installed.

Steve Simpson, landscape development officer for the council, said: "The council decided to relocate the all-weather area that used to be on the park to Whitton because of better facilities.

"But a sum of money was allocated to provide replacement kick-about facilities on Alderman Road Recreation ground and that is what we have started doing today.

"It is all part of the Ipswich Village Project which is to improve and raise the profile of the area.

"The issues that residents are concerned about are well known and the council are looking at ways of dealing with those problems."

Mr Simpson added that the council would welcome hearing from any business or individual who would be interested in sponsoring the next stage of the project.

Do you have an Ipswich town centre story? If so contact Lisa Woollard at 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or on 01473 324801 or at lisa.woollard@eveningstar.co.uk.

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