Residents fear over 24-hour park

BOURNE Park will continue to be open with 24-hour access despite concerns from residents.Earlier closing times had been urged by worried residents because of late night vandals.

BOURNE Park will continue to be open with 24-hour access despite concerns from residents.

Earlier closing times had been urged by worried residents because of late night vandals.

But last night at a meeting of the executive committee at Ipswich Borough Council it approved the proposal to allow the park to remain open.

Although there were reservations among councillors who believed the free access could lead to problems.

Councillor Stephen Barker said: "I have supported this from the beginning but I am beginning to doubt it considering the petition we have received.

"I have looked in to other sites and seen what problems there are in places like Landseer Park at night."

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Councillor Dale Jackson said: "If there is such a strong objection from the residents then we should consider keeping at least one gate closed at night."

The council had been given a petition by residents in the Monmouth Close area which stated that they were worried about crime and vandalism escalating.

In a letter from the neighbourhood watch scheme in the area it stated that 85 per cent of its members who voted believed that the park should not be open 24-hours and that the trial, which began in July 1999 had not been successful.

The park was open 24-hours to give young people somewhere to meet and was launched on the suggestion of the South West Ipswich Youth Initiative. But it soon ran in to problems with residents saying it was being used as an escape route for youths involved in petty crime and that there was an accumulation of rubbish in the area.

The council is referring other issues in the proposal to the community improvement committee.

These will include considering the installation of CCTV in the area and also looking at facilities for young people. Including another place that young people could use instead of the park.