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A couple of years ago, my local council spent a fair bit of money completely overhauling several parks around the town, including the largest and most popular one near my house.

1. It wasn't long before new play equipment in the smaller parks was vandalised. Thankfully since they were replaced they have remained intact.

2. The parks are a definate improvement, but the big one near me is a far cry from it's original appearance in the early 20th century.

3. The spaces lack character and direction, some daft decisions were made, and much of the planting is simply copy/pasted from border to border using the same sets of low maintenance shrubs with little thought to colour or flowers or anything.

4. The signs of neglect on behalf of the people maintaining the space are already starting to show.

Just to give some examples of bad decisions and neglect. A pathway running at one point near the lake was taken up and grassed over, a formal border surrounded by privet was left in, blocking the view from the new pathway to the lake. Many of the new plants put into the borders are looking ill or have died, but no attempt has been made to remove, replace or look after them properly. Bollards were put on the pathways to stop cars going along them, they can be lowered, but the maintenance teams don't bother, they just drive around them over the newly seeded grass.

My point is, that the money spent is rapidly going to waste (there are many more problems with the work too), and I wouldn't be suprised if in 10 years the parks looked no different to the way they did before. What's wrong with treating the parks any different to the way you treat your own back garden?

Hi Will

I agree about the bad decisions and neglect.

My view is it starts with funding, the quality and qualifications of the council contracts managers (many of which are 'jobsworths' and have no formal experience or qualifications and who poorly direct under qualified and even less motivated contract maintenance staff.

The whole system meeds a shake up from the top.

Regards


Phil

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