Park wardens at Le Fanu would sort out its anti-social problems say frustrated residents
By Maurice Garvey
ONGOING anti-social problems at Le Fanu Park could be alleviated with the introduction of park supervisors, according to independent councillor Vincent Jackson.
Cllr Jackson forwarded a motion at the Dublin South Central ACM in Dublin City Council this week – seeking funding for a pilot project to allocate four staff as park wardens to “address serious anti-social behaviour” in Ballyfermot parks, particularly Le Fanu Park.
Residents living on Le Fanu Road have vented frustration over the last number of years about anti-social issues in the park – accusing gardaí of “copping out” at the last Policing Meeting in Ballyfermot.
Gardaí have made numerous drug busts in the park over the last couple of years, but are restricted when it comes to loitering.
With plans in place to introduce a dedicated new play park in Le Fanu by the end of 2016 – residents and representatives are deeply concerned that the new facilities will be vandalised unless it is protected.
Cllr Jackson said: “The security aspect is long needed. I feel if there is a physical presence, we could move bad behaviour out of the park. It’s about critical mass. One is not enough – you need two to four to make it formidable. The staff would liase with gardaí.”
Dublin City Council have cited financial restrictions in the past, but Jackson dismisses this on the basis that funds are diverted into other areas.
“We spend a lot of money on maintenance in parks already,” he said. “When I first started as a councillor in 1991, Dublin City Council had 14,000 staff, now they have 5,000 with services reasonably similar and far greater levels of flexibility.
“You can’t keep cutting staff. Other local authorities have started to hire staff. There was a mobile warden service last year, but that was hit and miss, and might only have dropped by once a week. Neighbours and park users are left in limbo that a small group who create an unsafe feeling are left without any sanction.”
Plans for the new play space in Le Fanu Park are being carried out by the Matheson Foundation, in partnership with Dublin City Council and the Irish Architecture Foundation.
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