Llay children's play area locked at 9pm to stop youths playing football into early hours

Reporter:

Steve Craddock

YOUTHS playing football at a village recreation facility until two in the morning are causing residents a great deal of stress, a councillor has said.

At a meeting of Llay Community Council, councillor Rob Walsh told members of the difficulties faced by residents living near the enclosed multi use games area (MUGA) to the side of Llay Park Resource Centre.

He said he believes the actions of youths using the facility until the early hours of the morning should be treated as anti-social behaviour and called on North Wales Police to take the matter seriously.

Cllr Walsh told the Leader following the meeting: “It is a difficult issue. A gang of young adults gather near the MUGA and outside it to play football after 7pm. Because they gather in large numbers, sometimes 15, that causes great stress to the residents there.

“Sometimes they can be in the MUGA playing football until two in the morning. It is quite a contained area and the football hitting the sides makes a racket.

“Even though it has high nets often they will kick the ball out and into the gardens of residents.”

Speaking to community councillors at the meeting, Cllr Walsh said: “We have had meetings with residents, police and Sandra Davies who is the area manager covering both Llay and Gwersyllt resource centres.

“The progress we have had is the plans to lock the MUGA at 9pm. It doesn’t mean that solves the issue but it is a step in the right direction. If it is locked it is less attractive for them to get in.

“I have asked the police to take it very seriously. It is the first step to try and solve this problem.

“A big round of thanks is needed to Sandra Davies. She has been very supportive over this.”

Speaking of the impact on the residents, Cllr Walsh told members: “I can’t even fathom what they have been through, it has left a nasty feeling with them and my heart goes out to them.”

Llay Community Council chairman Bryan Apsley added: “I agree with Rob and it is frustrating for the residents close to it. People shouldn’t have to put up with it.”

Councillors also heard concerns about young people in cars parking in the areas by Llay CP School in St Martin’s Mews, which Cllr Walsh told the Leader he believed was part of the same problem.

Ideas were suggested to prevent parking in the area such as double yellow lines – which Cllr Walsh told the meeting would be difficult to police – and movable bollards.

Inspector Steve Owens said: “Police attended a recent council meeting with representatives from the Youth Service, In2change, the head of the local primary school, elected members and representatives of the Resource Centre.

“It clear that older youths, especially those with access to cars, are congregating late at night and in the early hours near to the MUGA and football pitch.

“We discussed a range of options and will include the residents affected as we work with all parties to achieve a solution.”

Email:

steve.craddock@nwn.co.uk

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