Mum’s anger at ‘disgusting’ park

Childminder Catherine Thornley at Whitehead Park with some of her charges

Childminder Catherine Thornley at Whitehead Park with some of her charges

First published in News Bury Times: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

A CHILDMINDER has called for improvements to a Bury park after she claimed it was in such a poor state it deters her off from using it.

Catherine Thorley has raised concerns about the litter, graffiti, dog mess and ‘unsuitable’ play equipment at Whitehead Park, which is sited off Ainsworth Road and Newbold Street.

The mother-of-two, aged 40, of David Street, works with children aged from 12 months to 10 years, and visits the park every week.

But she said: “It’s just horrible — I’ve never seen anything like it.

“There’s mud everywhere, small children can’t use the equipment because it’s too dangerous, it’s full of litter and the kids can’t even play on the field because it’s full of dog muck. It’s not a nice place to go.

“I normally use it around three times a week and it’s a shame to see it like this.

“I don’t know if the council visit the park and clean up often, but it doesn’t look like it to me.”

Mrs Thorley was part of a group of parents in the area who rallied together to get the park re-opened around three years ago.

Last year, Whitehead Park was one of 12 parks in Bury to receive the coveted Green Flag award from Keep Britain Tidy, which recognises well maintained and managed parks that have an excellent community involvement.

But Mrs Thorley says that, over the years, the park has gone through a steady decline and she wants to see it returned to its former state.

She said: “My daughter used to enjoy using the park when she was younger.

“It wasn’t perfect, but it was clean and tidy. The damage that’s been done to the park is disgusting.

A Bury Council spokesman said: “Whitehead Park, like all our main parks, has enjoyed significant investment over the years, and is nationally recognised as a Green Flag park for its high standards.

“Sadly, there are some people who have no respect for their neighbourhood, and drop litter, scrawl graffiti and let their dogs foul the grass, spoiling the environment for everyone else in the community.

“We will continue to do our best to maintain standards despite severe budget cuts.

“We urge residents to report any incidents they witness, with as much detail as possible, to our customer contact team so that we can target our resources at locations and at times when offences are most likely to be carried out.”

Comments (4)

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9:13pm Tue 29 Apr 14

Babbar Divino says...

I'm with Council on this one Mrs Thorley. Just think what a better place Bury and surrounds would be if locals took responsibility for keeping it clean, not sh1tting on their own doorstep and then relying on Council to come and clean it up. It doesn't take much to put your litter in bins, pick up and dispose of your dog muck does it? I've got a revolutionary idea, why don't you get a working group together and clean it up yourself? You probably would find that there are actually "some" people who if they see a clean area will respect it although sadly I think there is a missed generation or two that don't care for anybody or anything except themselves.
I'm with Council on this one Mrs Thorley. Just think what a better place Bury and surrounds would be if locals took responsibility for keeping it clean, not sh1tting on their own doorstep and then relying on Council to come and clean it up. It doesn't take much to put your litter in bins, pick up and dispose of your dog muck does it? I've got a revolutionary idea, why don't you get a working group together and clean it up yourself? You probably would find that there are actually "some" people who if they see a clean area will respect it although sadly I think there is a missed generation or two that don't care for anybody or anything except themselves. Babbar Divino
  • Score: 6

9:39am Wed 30 Apr 14

ICrowther says...

Agreed Babbar, nobody would dispute some of your points on personal responsibility, but we also pay rates, part of which is to maintain and cleanse parks in the borough. Why are we paying if we do not receive services? The rates keep increasing, yet we get less and less for our money. Somebody somewhere is making a mint out of this, and it's those elites running the place and neoliberal Westminster / Whitehall politics that is delivering such poor services to the Bury community. It is sad to say, but it is going to get worse under Cameron. Its about time the 'left wing' woke from this inaction, and we all rise up against the way this country is being run. Bury's park space is symptomatic of a much wider problem.
Agreed Babbar, nobody would dispute some of your points on personal responsibility, but we also pay rates, part of which is to maintain and cleanse parks in the borough. Why are we paying if we do not receive services? The rates keep increasing, yet we get less and less for our money. Somebody somewhere is making a mint out of this, and it's those elites running the place and neoliberal Westminster / Whitehall politics that is delivering such poor services to the Bury community. It is sad to say, but it is going to get worse under Cameron. Its about time the 'left wing' woke from this inaction, and we all rise up against the way this country is being run. Bury's park space is symptomatic of a much wider problem. ICrowther
  • Score: 0

8:33pm Wed 30 Apr 14

Babbar Divino says...

Yes ICrowther, I'm the biggest critic of BMBC and the ludicrous things they spend money on (don't get me started on the Sculpture Centre), and yes of course most pay rates to provide services. Whilst not fully supporting all the policies of the Conservatives the note left in the treasury by Liam Byrne the out going Chief Secretary...

"Dear chief secretary, I'm afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam."

although passed of as a joke, joke or not, was actually true and to protect the future times are very hard. Which again doesn't appease people who are out of work etc. and yes I was out of work for a few months last year myself which has put me back about 2 years.

Going back to the original subject from what I can see the problem with rubbish all over the place has not got particularly worse in recent years it's an on going problem with people not picking up after themselves. One of the things I hear most when people return after visiting some other countries is the statement "it's really clean"!

The difference with some other countries is not just that perhaps they spend more money on cleaners (perhaps they do or don't) people take responsibility which is not a Whitehall issue although everyone likes to blame them.

"Think not what your country can do...... etc."
Yes ICrowther, I'm the biggest critic of BMBC and the ludicrous things they spend money on (don't get me started on the Sculpture Centre), and yes of course most pay rates to provide services. Whilst not fully supporting all the policies of the Conservatives the note left in the treasury by Liam Byrne the out going Chief Secretary... "Dear chief secretary, I'm afraid there is no money. Kind regards – and good luck! Liam." although passed of as a joke, joke or not, was actually true and to protect the future times are very hard. Which again doesn't appease people who are out of work etc. and yes I was out of work for a few months last year myself which has put me back about 2 years. Going back to the original subject from what I can see the problem with rubbish all over the place has not got particularly worse in recent years it's an on going problem with people not picking up after themselves. One of the things I hear most when people return after visiting some other countries is the statement "it's really clean"! The difference with some other countries is not just that perhaps they spend more money on cleaners (perhaps they do or don't) people take responsibility which is not a Whitehall issue although everyone likes to blame them. "Think not what your country can do...... etc." Babbar Divino
  • Score: 3

4:17pm Thu 1 May 14

Vicwalmsley says...

I use this park with my children and indeed saw the childminder with 2 of her childminder friends there last week. All the children were playing on all the equipment and the play area was clear.
People do allow their dogs to fowl the fields and the pathways despite clear signage and bins being provided, the council maintains the grassed and flowered areas as well as there being litter pickers and repairing equipment when damaged but the responsibility must lie with the public using this park. Perhaps it would be more beneficial to create a community group like there is in Tottington to arrange regular clean ups and leaflet drops to educate people about the dangers of dog faeces to health rather than expecting the council to provide all the resource.
This is one of the better parks in the area and if the public want it to remain open then the public need to become involved in ensuring it stays a safe environment for all by being more aware of their own actions.
I use this park with my children and indeed saw the childminder with 2 of her childminder friends there last week. All the children were playing on all the equipment and the play area was clear. People do allow their dogs to fowl the fields and the pathways despite clear signage and bins being provided, the council maintains the grassed and flowered areas as well as there being litter pickers and repairing equipment when damaged but the responsibility must lie with the public using this park. Perhaps it would be more beneficial to create a community group like there is in Tottington to arrange regular clean ups and leaflet drops to educate people about the dangers of dog faeces to health rather than expecting the council to provide all the resource. This is one of the better parks in the area and if the public want it to remain open then the public need to become involved in ensuring it stays a safe environment for all by being more aware of their own actions. Vicwalmsley
  • Score: 3

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