The Friends of Poulton Park was formed by residents in 2019 in a bid to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area and make improvements to the park’s facilities.
The park has been receiving high levels of anti-social behaviour including drug-taking, criminal damage and fly-tipping. Lancaster City Council has been working in partnership with the Friends group, the police, and local schools to address the issues along with some of the health and wellbeing inequalities in the area.
A consultation was carried out with local residents, with 80% saying they rarely or never used the park due to the anti-social behaviour. The police advised that the first step would be to install lighting and CCTV to make the environment safe.
The Friends successfully applied for funding and the work is due to be carried out this year. In preparation for the works being done to make the park safer, they have also applied for further funding to install new play equipment and signage to help encourage residents back.
In a bid to help tackle food poverty in the area, plans are in place to implement a community planting scheme that will include a mini orchard and mini allotment.
Speaking about the plans, Chairman of the Friends of Poulton Park, Stuart Nevin, said: ‘It has been clear to us for some time that local residents have been put off from using Poulton Park due to issues with anti-social behaviour. As a Friends group, we are keen to make the park a safe place for everyone to enjoy. As with all things in life, success does not happen overnight, but with focus, determination, passion, experience and ultimately the right team behind you, anything is possible."
Funding for the park has so far been provided by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government for Pocket Park (£25,500), Lancashire Environmental Fund (£14,250), Lancaster City Council (£5,000), Making Spaces (£4,750) and Lancashire Partnership Against Crime (LANPAC) £2500.
Councillor Dave Brookes, cabinet member with responsibility for the Natural Environment, said: “Our parks and playgrounds are important to our residents and my thanks go to the Friends of Poulton Park for all their hard work.
"It is also a great reminder of what can be achieved by the council and local communities working together. The council supports more than 25 local Friends groups and they all play a vital role in protecting and enhancing local parks, woodlands, play areas and green spaces in the area for the benefit of the whole community.”
If you are local to Poulton Park and would like a say in the type of play equipment you would prefer, please visit www.lancaster.gov.uk/poulton-park-survey. The consultation will close on Sunday February 21.
If you live close to a park and are interested in setting up a Friends group, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last updated: 11 February 2021