‘Don’t let our prized public park fall to ruin’

The overflowing waste bin at Ashton's 'neglected' King George V playing fields
The overflowing waste bin at Ashton's 'neglected' King George V playing fields

A ROW has erupted over the management of a much-loved Wigan park.

Ashton Residents Association believe that delays by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) in emptying bins at King George V park are encouraging anti-social behaviour.

They claim bins are overflowing with bagged dog waste and there is an infestation of a Japanese knotweed.

As a consequence, yobs have undone weeks of good work by public-minded pet owners at the playing fields off Queen Street by attempting to upturn bulging rubbish bins.

Requests to empty them more regularly have fallen on deaf ears, the association’s chairman has claimed. The law states that if you have Japanese knotweed on your land you must not allow it to spread off site.

Invasive non-native species are now widely recognised as the second biggest threat to biodiversity worldwide. Residents Association chair Michael Moulding said that “for several months” residents had been contacting him with growing concerns about the condition of the historic playing fields.

He said: “The litter bin was not emptied for many weeks despite the fact that local residents have contacted their Makerfield MP, Labour’s Yvonne Fovargue and local ward councillors pointing out that the bin was a health hazard and eyesore overflowing with rubbish and stinking dog dirt.

“The playing fields are infected with Japanese knotweed with no sign of treatment and full of litter and rubbish.

“Earlier in the year, residents attempted a clean-up of the park but it’s becoming a joke and the park is clearly being neglected by those that have responsibility for its management.

“We see a lot in the media about Mesnes Park in Wigan but residents in other parts of the authority have just as much pride in theirs and it is time that the council recognised the fact.”

But a spokesman for WLCT spokesman said: “I can confirm that this bin is on our regular emptying rota and has now been emptied as part of a routine procedure.

“We are aware of a small amount of Japanese knotweed on the perimeter and this is being managed appropriately.”