Ball games no fun for res­i­dents

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By DAVID SEY­MOUR david.sey­mour@pe­ter­bor­oughto­

A CALL has been made for im­prove­ments at a play area in Peter­bor­ough amid re­ports stray foot­balls are dam­ag­ing neigh­bours’ ve­hi­cles and homes.

The plea over Cen­tury Square, off Water­loo Road, has come from Peter­bor­ough city coun­cil­lor John Shear­man, who rep­re­sents the Park Ward.

It fol­lows what he de­scribes as “con­tin­u­ing com­plaints” about foot­balls be­ing kicked from a fenced play area on the site and dam­ag­ing nearby prop­erty.

Cllr Shear­man said he has heard of dents to car body­work and at least one bro­ken house win­dow.

The dam­age is be­ing done typ­i­cally, but by no means exclusively, he says, late at night.

A nearby street light which il­lu­mi­nates the court means games of­ten con­tinue un­til 11pm or mid­night, he said.

He said: “When­ever I go around to talk to peo­ple they com­plain about the foot­balls com­ing over. It’s a reg­u­lar thing.”

He says a fac­tor po­ten­tially ex­ac­er­bat­ing the is­sue is that as the fa­cil­ity be­longs to the com­mu­nity, rather than the res­i­dents, it at­tracts peo­ple from fur­ther afield who do not have a vested in­ter­est in the area.

He said: “Peo­ple who come in from the out­side don’t have any loy­alty to­wards the res­i­dents.”

In light of the com­plaints, he is call­ing for two main im­prove­ments to the play area.

The first is for the perime­ter fence be raised to the same height as it is be­hind the two bas­ket­ball back­boards.

The sec­ond is for the court to be locked each night.

He said: “This will re­quire work done to block-off the present open­ings.

“I have dis­cussed this with res­i­dents and a num­ber of them are will­ing to un­der­take the lock­ing and un­lock­ing on a rota ba­sis.”

He said mak­ing the im­prove­ments to the play area should be a pri­or­ity for those re­spon­si­ble for the play area.

He said: “For the res­i­dents of Cen­tury Square: They live there, they have to put up with this nui­sance. They put up with their cars be­ing dam­aged and they would like to see their com­plaints taken se­ri­ously.”

The com­plaints over the stray foot­balls are the lat­est is­sue to arise for res­i­dents in Cen­tury Square.

In Oc­to­ber, the Evening Tele­graph re­ported about van­dals felling trees in the area.

Con­cern has also been raised in the past about lit­ter­ing, graf­fiti and drug use.

Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, which has re­spon­si­bil­ity for the play area, said it is lis­ten­ing to res­i­dents’ com­plaints.

Cate Hard­ing, cen­tral and east neigh­bour­hood man­ager at Peter­bor­ough City Coun­cil, said the cur­rent is­sues at Cen­tury Square were be­ing ex­am­ined as part of Op­er­a­tion CAN-DO, a re­gen­er­a­tion scheme for the Mill­field and New Eng­land area.

She said the au­thor­ity was work­ing with Cam­bridgeshire po­lice, En­ter­prise Peter­bor­ough, reg­is­tered so­cial land­lords, NHS Peter­bor­ough and the lo­cal mosque to iden­tify im­prove­ments and so­lu­tions to some of the area’s “long­stand­ing is­sues”.

She added: “No in­ter­ven­tion will take place with­out full con­sul­ta­tion with the lo­cal res­i­dents and we wel­come the lo­cal com­mu­nity’s sug­ges­tions for im­prove­ments and their in­volve­ment in the full process go­ing for­ward.

“I urge res­i­dents to at­tend the neigh­bour­hood com­mit­tee meet­ing for the area, which is at the Town Hall on Mon­day at 7pm. Dur­ing the open fo­rum part of the evening peo­ple have the op­por­tu­nity to raise is­sues they have and item sug­ges­tions for fu­ture meet­ings.”

CALL FOR AC­TION: Coun­cil­lor John Shear­man has called for im­prove­ments to the play area in Cen­tury Square.

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