Buckley play area plagued by teeny tipplers

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UNDERAGE boozers have left a popular children's play area littered with broken glass.

The Flash, near Bistre Parish Church, Buckley, has been plagued by anti-social behaviour ever since its grand opening in 2008.

More than £50,000 of National Lottery funding helped to transform the site by creating a children’s playground, community garden and outdoor youth shelter.

But it quickly became a target for vandals and a haven for underage drinkers, much to the dismay of residents and community leaders.

The problems appeared to have been resolved but one resident, who did not want to be named, told the Leader youths were again congregating in the area.

“I went for a walk across the playing fields and the state of the area around the shelter was unbelievable,” he said.

“There was broken glass, underwear, empty alcohol bottles and even used condoms. Young people gather there every Friday and Saturday night.

“I’m very worried about what could happen if a young child cut themselves on the glass or picked up one of the used condoms.”

In April the garden was targeted by yobs who pulled up plants and trees. Then in June grieving families, who had planted flowers in the garden in memory of loved ones, were forced to remove them because of fears the plants would be ruined by vandals.

Buckley county councillor Ron Hampson said: “We’ve had problems like this before and just a few months ago the community got together to tidy the area up.

“It’s a very good facility and I would urge young people to respect it because it is an important asset for the community.

“I will be asking the police to step up their patrols of the area and will look into organising another clean-up.”

Town councillor John Woolley added: “The problems with anti-social behaviour in the past led to the youth shelter being moved.

“I’ve not been made aware of any issues recently but have certainly had complaints in the past.

“If there are problems I will raise them with the neighbourhood policing team and as a community we will try to stop them as quickly as we can.”

A Flintshire Council spokesman said litter was collected from the play area on a weekly basis and the authority also dealt with any specific reports of littering on other days.

See full story in the Leader

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