Calls to remove benches from Huntingdon park to stop anti-social behaviour

TO most they are simple places to sit, but park benches could be removed from a housing estate in Huntingdon as they are seen by some as a catalyst for anti-social behaviour.

The suggestion has split the opinions of people living at Hinchingbrooke.

Residents in The Glades have sent a petition to Huntingdonshire District Council to ask for the removal of four benches from the park to prevent people hanging around the green causing a nuisance at night.

HDC has sent out letters to residents in the area to ask whether they should stay or go – as, just like the Clash song, if they stay there will be trouble and, perhaps, if they go, there could be double, as other residents are adamant the benches should remain.

Gareth Tysoe, who used to live at The Glades before moving round the corner to Woodlands, said that a “few are spoiling it for the rest of the residents”.

“We used to have kids playing football against houses, hanging around at all hours and other anti-social behaviour when my family was there,” he told The Hunts Post. “It used to keep my children up at night and then they would fall asleep in school.

“But parents also use the benches while their children are playing in the park. If they take the benches away, where are they going to sit.

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“Anti-social behaviour is a problem but I don’t see why they want to remove the benches, because it won’t stop it, they will just move elsewhere.”

District councillor for the ward Tom Sanderson passed the petition to the council after receiving it from the residents.

He said: “It is only in a consultation stage. It could be that only the benches closest to the houses are removed and the ones near play areas are kept.

“Of course there is a risk that the people will move elsewhere, but this is only early on in the process.”

A spokesman for HDC said: “We received a petition with 11 signatures, requesting removal of four benches in and around The Glades area as they say there have been incidents of anti-social behaviour around where the benches are sited.”

INFORMATION: Around 250 letters have been sent to residents in Hinchingbrooke asking for their views. They have until Friday (February 17) to respond.