DOG FOULING FORCES PARKS TO BE LOCKED AT NIGHT

VANDALISM and dog fouling fears have sparked a move to lock a Bangor playground at night.

Clandeboye play park has been hit with serious issues in recent weeks, with pet owners allowing their animals to foul facilities meant for children in the area.

It comes after Ards and North Down Council adopted a new policy of allowing almost all of the playgrounds it owns across the borough to remain open 24/7, going totally unlocked overnight.

Earlier this month two unionist politicians launched a bid to have play parks in Bangor’s Bloomfield and Rathgill estates locked at night again.

Now Green Party councillor Barry McKee hopes to have Clandeboye’s facility added onto that bid, stating that locals have complained that leaving the playground unlocked has allowed dog owners to get access to the site late in the evening.

There to exercise their pets, some irresponsible owners allow their dogs off the lead inside the playground – and then don’t clean up afterwards when their animals foul the facility.

Says Mr McKee: “Unfortunately, it’s not just in Bloomfield and Rathgill that antisocial behaviour has coincided with ending the practice of locking facilities.

“In the case of Clandeboye, the issues have not been attributed to young people; instead, adults have been responsible for the majority of the issues, most significantly with pet owners allowing dogs to be exercised and to foul in the children’s park and sports facilities.

“With the residents of Clandeboye in mind, I believe it would be prudent to include the area in the coming evaluation of returning to a schedule of locking up of these important and valuable community facilities.”

Mr McKee planned to bring his bid before a council meeting that was due to begin shortly after the Spectator went to press last night.