Teacher's anger after syringes and broken bottles found in Pill Park, Newport
Updated 10:42am Thursday 10th July 2014 in Gwent news
UPSET: Kamal Ali, centre, with Paul Murphy and Wendy Wall at Pill Park with bottles and cans they have found in the park
A NEWPORT teacher is campaigning to get Pill Park renovated so his son can visit it “without fear of injury”.
Kamal Ali, 32, of Pill, said he has been left devastated after seeing his local park become run down with poor facilities, smashed glass, and even discarded mephedrone bottles and syringes.
A resident of Pill since he was eight-years-old, he first noticed the problem when his car broke down and he had to walk his two-year-old son Hamzah, through the park.
Having previously volunteered with Communities First, Mr Ali felt compelled to act and decided to appeal to the council to renovate the park.
“When issues come up like this you can’t not do something,” he said.
“A lot of residents in Pill will walk down the pathway to get to Pill Primary School as it’s a shortcut.
“During the winter months that pathway will get flooded, a problem which has been there since I was a little boy.
“I’m fortunate to have a car; a lot of Pill residents don’t have the privilege and have to walk through the park.”
Over the last few weeks, the teacher at Wydean High School and Sixth Form College, along with other residents Paul Murphy and Wendy Hall, has had correspondence Newport City Council. He said while they had addressed some of his problems they have not provided what he believes to be a ‘solution’.
“The park is very large but the facilities within it are ridiculous,” he added.
“There are two swings and one of them is broken.
“When I walked through the park I noticed two big bottles of whiskey in the bins in the playground and at least 200 cigarette ends.
“There’s tiny bits of glass everywhere and if children tripped it would cut them.
“I just can’t imagine that happening anywhere else. If I went to Tredegar Park it would be cleaned up within a day.
“I raised my concerns and the bins were cleaned out.
“People are obviously doing drugs there too as I put some photos on Facebook and I had lots of people saying they have found needles there too.
“It is quite upsetting to see the park like this.”
In response to Mr Ali’s concerns a spokeswoman from Newport City Council said: “Newport City Council is responsible for the maintenance and cleansing of 63 parks and more than 590 hectares of land.
“The council appreciates and shares the frustration of residents that when visiting a park for recreational activities they are on occasions greeted by rubbish.
“This is unacceptable especially when that litter causes a danger.
“The council would ask residents to play their part and to dispose of their litter in a safe manner.
“If residents do experience litter problems in any area of the city this can be reported through the city contact centre on 01633 656656 or 24 hours a day via the council’s website.”