As of July 2006 Park Wardens are no longer employed in Sandall and Grove Parks, Wheatley, Doncaster. Funding has ceased and there are currently no plans for them to be mainstream funded. For the duration of their employment, there was a noticeable difference in the day to day appearance of the park. Litter and the offenders were tackled daily, as were the people who allowed their dogs to foul the park. Members of the public felt reassured by their presence, and said so. Vandalism is now on the increase: within days of the refurbished toilet block being opened, damage was caused; litter bins have been set on fire; but more disturbing - numerous wild ducks, and geese have been killed in a particularly cruel manner.
The Commission for Achitecture and the Built Environment wants every urban park in England to have dedicated staff on site to reassure children. A survey commissioned by them - of children aged between 10 and 16yrs - found that 34% of children felt unsafe using parks some or all of the time, while 76% said they would feel safer if parks were staffed by park keepers. Another survey by the Architecture Commission, which targeted park managers, suggested that on-site staff can have a major impact on the level of anti-social behaviour in parks. 89% of participants said they felt anti-social behaviour had reduced as a result of their local authority introducing or maintaining on-site staff in their parks. One LA area reported a reduction of 50% in vandalism attacks over two years, and another cut vandalism costs by
The Friends of Sandall Park are working hard towards regenerating a much loved and much visited local park.
For details of how you can help in this endeavour, go to our website at http://www.sandallpark.org.uk or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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