Dad’s anger at park ‘left to rot’ by lack of funds

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A FATHER says he is disappointed at the state of his local park, which is often strewn with beer cans, condoms and dog’s mess.

Full-time carer and dad of three Rob Ellison of Stoney Lane, Shoreham, has been visiting Middle Road Rec for more than 20 years and blames a lack of investment for the poor state of the park.

“I feel disappointed that it’s been left to rot by the council,” he said. “I blame them as much as I blame the culprits. This area of Shoreham gets a slightly bad reputation compared to other parts of Shoreham as it is, and the thing is, the area isn’t bad at all.

“It’s had a lack of investment and, as such, in some places appears run down slightly and having issues like this in the park just adds to the misconception.”

Mr Ellison said his children had thankfully avoided the dog’s mess but said his two-year-old was always picking up rubbish.

“He just wants to help put things in the bin but on a couple of occasions he has picked up empty drinks cans.

“It puts you off going there, and that’s not how it should be,” said Mr Ellison.

“People go to Buckingham Park because it’s well funded, kept tidy, has great play equipment and a café.

“What investment have the other surrounding parks had, with the exception perhaps of the play area at the Adur Recreation Ground?

“Likely that was only re-done because of the huge investment in Ropetackle and, of course, you can’t have people in expensive apartments overlooking an eyesore.”

Mr Ellison said teenagers using the park in the evenings and a rise in the number of homeless people in the area could be partly to blame for the litter problem.

“Kids being kids, some just don’t care at that age and as a result don’t take pride in their area. I am not trying to stigmatise any particular group of people. It doesn’t matter what group you belong to, it doesn’t hurt to respect your town and surroundings.”

He said if the right investments were made, it could turn Middle Road park into a ‘huge community hub’.

Speaking to those responsible for the mess, Mr Ellison said: “This is your town, your area, respect it like it’s a personal possession.”

An Adur Council spokesman said the council had refurbished the play facility at Middle Road at a cost of £45,000 in 2009 and had no plans for the near future.

“As regards litter, we have gone out and inspected very recently, due to Mr Ellison drawing this to our attention, but our inspections yielded nothing,” said the spokesman.

“Cleansing teams regularly clean our playgrounds including this one.”