THE MONDAY MOAN – A once a week spot for us to moan about the stuff that perhaps we should all be moaning about that little bit more… 

Thompsons Park in Canton has been open, since the beginning of the first lockdown, 24 hours a day… Until now…

A few weeks ago the council in their wisdom decided, without consultation with local residents and users of the park, to close it at a stupidly early 3.30pm. At the time this was almost 2 hours prior to dusk.

I wrote to the council and asked the question… ‘Why?’

They said it was due to an increase in ‘anti-social behaviour’.

I wrote back asking for evidence, so the dates of incidence of said anti-social behaviour.

They said that ‘there had been two incidences of anti-social behaviour reported to the police between March and September 2020 but that they had been informed of unreported incidences that they have therefore acted upon’.

Hearsay then…

I have written this in response:

‘What dates were the incidents? 

The original response from the council was ‘an increase in antisocial behaviour’ was the reasoning behind closing the park. You have provided no evidence for that. In fact quite the opposite. I would expected to have seen low incidence rates through to September and then a dramatic increase in October in order for you to take the decision to close the park. 

Locals I speak to are not in favour of the park being closed and in fact closing the park so far in advance of sunset is beyond the comprehension of all. 

Are you therefore suggesting that locals fear a rise in antisocial behaviour in the months most likely to be wet and cold and dark as opposed to the warm and balmy evenings of the summer when the park was open throughout the night? I see no logic in that. 

I suggest that you take another look at your decision making process and have it based in evidence rather than hearsay. The only way to judge local opinion is in the first instance call a meeting and have a well rounded open discussion then to have a poll of opinion. That would be democracy. 

What I see here is an imposition of a ludicrous policy based upon unsupported assertions and timed to coincide with operational imperatives rather than in service to the community. 

Your thoughts greatly appreciated along with any action you intend to take.’

After two weeks no response. I’ve chased them up and will update this post if they get back in touch. But don’t hold your breath…

Author

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published