Council - cabinet member defends trial scheme which left parks open overnight

Seven Kings Park

Seven Kings Park - Credit: Archant

Seven Kings Park, which was left open overnight leaving homes “vulnerable”, has now been locked after heavy criticism by the council and protests by residents.

The decision to keep the park, in Aldborough Road South, Seven Kings, open was defended by Cllr Robin Turberfield, the cabinet member for leisure, who said the scheme was a “trial”.

He said: “I made the decision for the trial period in September with Vision, [the council’s leisure arm] ahead of the budget.

“This did not fall under a council key decision and there was a risk of bad press if the decision had been public.

“The idea was to look at the feasibility of leaving some parks open, like Fairlop Waters and Hainault Forest, and I have had residents telling me they are disappointed that the park is now closed.”

The Bridge ward councillor confirmed the park had been open from October 27 until January 8, and that he had received little or no feedback in the first few weeks.

Cllr Aziz Choudhury said: “We must be consulted before a decision like this is made. Homes were left vulnerable.”

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Cllr Turbefield added: “The gates are not there to protect residents’ property.”

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