Play area could be closed at night as "last resort"

June 18, 2009 9:43 AM
Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith

Councillor Ian Nimmo-Smith

A play area at Cambridge's Ravensworth Gardens, which has become a magnet for trouble-makers, could be closed at night as a "last resort".

Cambridge Liberal Democrats have reluctantly agreed to take the unusual step of recommending the locking of the playground at dusk for a trial period to protect nearby residents.

They had complained to the city council and the police that youngsters congregating at the play area were drinking, taking drugs and being generally rowdy.

Cambridge City Council Leader, Ian Nimmo-Smith, who is responsible for community safety issues said: "This is a decision that has certainly not been approached lightly. But I am anxious to make sure that, while the playground should be available for use by the younger people for which it was intended, we meet our responsibility to protect residents from anti-social behaviour by older groups."

The request to lock the playground at night was made by the Ravensworth Gardens Residents Association which owns the open space.

Now members of Cambridge City Council's Community Services Scrutiny Committee will be asked to support the idea at their meeting on Thursday (June 25). Depending on the decision the council's Strategy and Resources Committee will consider a request at a meeting on Monday 29 June that the £6,900 cost of raising the height of the railings and providing a locking mechanism for the gate will be paid for by a Safer City grant from the council.

What would you like to do next?