£500,000 Sneyd Green play park falling back into ruin as vandals strike
A PLAY PARK which cost £500,000 to build has been targeted by vandals.
The Repington Road play park in Sneyd Green was hit by another wave of destruction at the weekend.
The park opened in June 2009 after several years of fund-raising by Holden Lane Residents' Association.
But three years after it was built, dismayed residents claim it is "wrecked", with smashed bottles littering the site, graffiti on the equipment and youths gathering at the park to intimidate users.
Residents' association chairman John Reynolds, aged 48, from Brocklehurst Way, said: "We raised half a million pounds to build that park and look at the state of it.
"In my opinion, Sneyd Green has become a forgotten estate."
The group dreamed of transforming the derelict land into a brand new play area for children and hoped it would last for years to come.
It included a special play area for parents with toddlers, a multi-games area and a BMX/skateboarding park.
But Mr Reynolds claims that a combination of vandalism and lack of maintenance has caused the park to fall into ruin. He said: "It has not been litter-picked and it looks like the grass has not been cut.
"The kids swings are in a state and personally, I think they look unsafe. It is just going back to an unsafe park."
Play facilities at the site were taken down in the 1990s, after an accident on a swing led to the death of a boy.
The campaign for new and safer play facilities was first launched in October 1997.
But now families fear standards have slipped again. When The Sentinel visited the park yesterday, youths, below, were seen riding round on a motorbike, swearing at visitors.
Residents have questioned whether Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been keeping on top of the maintenance after it received £25,000 from a Section 106 agreement with developers to look after the area over 25 years.
But the council insists it is doing its upmost to maintain the area.
Councillor Andy Platt, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for city services, said: "We are not aware of concerns from members of the public about the park, but are always happy to listen and investigate issues if residents get in touch.
"Residents are welcome to form a friends group, too, to help us build a stronger working relationship with their needs.
"The park is regularly maintained, with grass cutting, litter picking, bin emptying and sweeping."
Mr Platt added: "We are aware of an incident of vandalism last weekend, and teams worked quickly to inspect the site, make equipment safe and clear debris.
"The matter has been reported to the police and we urge anyone with information to contact the police directly."
Sgt Phillip Ferns, of Stoke North Local Policing Team, said: "We continue to work closely with our partners, especially Stoke-on-Trent City Council, and the wider community, to resolve any local issues and tackling anti social behaviour."