Park equipment destroyed by a JCB two years ago has yet to be replaced


Playground equipment in a park which was bulldozed by a JCB over two years ago has yet to be replaced because there are “limited resources to replace” it.

Several pieces of equipment at Black Ash Park in Lliswerry, Newport were completely destroyed back in February 2019.

At the time residents reported seeing a JCB driven by a group of youths at the park. The vehicle was used to completely destroy a children’s climbing frame and a set of goal posts.

Gwent Police officers attended the scene at the time but the offenders had already left the area.

Read more: The parts of Newport where most and least crimes are committed

Residents claimed the JCB was taken from a building site near to the park, and Lliswerry Community Action said the vehicle was driven through a fence and also damaged a tree.

Photos taken at the time of the scene showed broken goalposts

More than two years later, the equipment is yet to be replaced.

This week Lliswerry Cllr Allan Morris said not replacing the equipment was “scandalous” and that something needed to be done now that young people were starting to venture out more since Wales lifted many of its coronavirus restrictions.

“There is absolutely nothing there at all, nothing has been replaced,” he said.

“You have an area now with a high level of antisocial behaviour. Kids have nowhere to go, and it has become a breeding ground for trouble.

“Someone did this, and someone somewhere should be taking responsibility.”

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Cllr Morris said young people in the area were “crying out for places to go and things to do.”

“I’m a firm believer that we need to start investing in our youngsters. It started when you had to start paying at the car parks in Belle Vue Park, Tredegar Park etc. They’re some of the only places young people can go.

“Our kids need a fair crack of the whip and they are losing out.”

A Newport City Council spokesperson said: “Sadly, the play equipment in this park was destroyed by plant machinery which had been taken from a nearby development site in 2019.

“Investigations were made into whether an insurance claim could be made against the company responsible for the vehicle to fund replacement equipment. However, this was not possible.

“In recent years, there have been limited resources to replace playground equipment. Vandalism and wanton criminal damage, such as in this case, not only spoil facilities for local children but place a further drain on the budget.

“There is an annual programme of repairs and replacements to playground equipment. There is a waiting list for such work and Black Ash Park, one of a number of parks in Lliswerry, is on the list.”

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