Published: 10:06, 18 July 2011
by Sian Napier
Rough sleepers and discarded drug equipment in the park at Wincheap has led to calls for it to be shut at night.
The matter was raised at Thursday’s full council meeting when councillors discussed the locking or non-locking of park and cemetery gates at night.
Earlier this year the council said it was thinking of not locking park gates in the city at night to save money but the news brought a storm of protest from residents, leading to the council suspending the plans until the end of this month.
Cllr James Flanagan told Thursday’s meeting: “This has caused considerable concern to residents and it is the intention that at the next executive meeting there will be an announcement of alternative arrangements.
“My only regret is that these plans do not go as far as we would like in Wincheap park as this will still be left open.”
His fellow Liberal Democrat Cllr Nick Eden-Green said: “It is sad that Wincheap play area is to be left out and I hope that it will be included. We do need to find a permanent solution to make sure these gates are locked.
“Another problem is discarded drug equipment. It is an issue in that area and will need to be addressed with a great deal more alacrity and care.”
Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Alex Perkins said Wincheap park, along with other areas of the city, were being used for rough sleeping.
“They will be in the park when young children go in there and that is a concern,” he said. “There is not a lot in Wincheap. You have already closed our toilets so can we close the park and keep our children safe.”
Cllr Ida Linfield said she hoped the gates at Canterbury Cemetery could be closed too.
The matter is due to be discussed at the next executive meeting on Wednesday, July 27.