Pet's injury sparks call for action at 'eyesore' park

Amber, the dog injured in Alexandra Park
Amber, the dog injured in Alexandra Park
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A dog walker demanding action to improve an “eyesore” park believes council plans for a clean-up are not enough.

Anthony Bridge used to walk his two pets daily at Alexandra Park in Newtown.

But he has stopped going there after it was plagued by anti-social behaviour and his cocker spaniel Amber cut her paw on broken glass.

Mr Bridge, of Billinge Road, said: “I won’t use the park any more on a regular basis because I don’t think it’s fit for purpose or safe.

“The amount of litter, glass, cans, fires being lit, fireworks being set off - it’s not safe to be in the park early in the morning or at night.”

For several months Mr Bridge, 27, has been reporting the problems at the park to Wigan Council.

There have been repeated incidents of graffiti on the skate park, including swastikas and offensive words.

Litter, broken glass and drugs paraphernalia have been left at the park and fires have been started.

Mr Bridge said there is a broken drain which causes the footpaths to regularly flood.

A residents’ meeting was held last month to discuss the situation at the park.

Mr Bridge said: “Since then nothing has happened in the park and there have been a number of dogs injured in the park by glass, one of my own included.”

The council is now organising a staff volunteer day on Thursday, November 23.

While Mr Bridge is pleased that something is being done, he believes it is not enough.

He will not be joining the clean-up as he will be at work - but says he regularly removed glass and litter from the park.

He said: “It seems like a bit of a PR stunt. I have provided evidence to the council, I have been reporting this since April and it’s now November when they are looking to do something about it.”

Mr Bridge said council staff had promised to walk around to see what needed to be done, but this had not happened.

After the injury to his own pet and other dogs, he is urging the council to do more.

He said: “If it was a kid, I’m sure we would be up in arms that children were being injured in a public park.”

A council spokesman said: “As part of The Deal, Wigan Council employees can give back two volunteer days per year to the community.

“We have arranged a volunteer day at Alexandra Park in conjunction with the Friends of Alexandra Park community group, which will include tree and bulb planting, general habitat management and litter picking.

“We have retained Green Flag status, which recognises well managed parks and this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the local community.

“Furthermore, as part of our improvement plans, we have recently installed gym equipment and have repaired the blocked drains which contributed to localised flooding in the park.

“In addition, we are in the process of procuring several new pieces of skate equipment and are looking into commissioning a graffiti artist to paint the existing equipment.”