Village park is ‘danger to kids’

Cllr Linda McGraw at Stanley Common Recreation Ground, where glass and old batteries are rising to the surface.
Cllr Linda McGraw at Stanley Common Recreation Ground, where glass and old batteries are rising to the surface.

GLASS and old car batteries are emerging from a Stanley Common playing field, causing concern for parents and dog walkers, it was revealed this week.

Village councillor Linda McGraw has blasted Erewash Borough Council for apparently not investigating the potentially dangerous situation since she raised it with them four months ago.

It is thought that the recreation ground off Belper Road was built on the site of a former landfill, which closed in the 1930s and its hazardous contents are now finding their way to the surface.

Cllr McGraw, members of the parish council and litter picker Bryan Bunting have inspected the park and found ‘quite a substantial’ amount of glass.

“It’s a serious health and safety risk,” she explained.

“I want to know what the council is doing about this.

“They need to act quickly in order to avoid someone getting hurt.

“We need to be pro-active not reactive about this.”

She said she raised the issue with the environment and community safety department at the council in October 2011.

Since then head of the department Nick Thurstan has told her that the cover layers were neither deep nor dense enough to prevent waste debris migrating to the surface.

Officers made ten boreholes on the site in November, with all but one showing evidence of contamination from ashes.

They said as much as 30 per cent of the grassed area was affected by glass coming to the surface.

“It’s being treated a bit lightly to say the least,” she said.

“It’s disgusting that they have not done more.”

The council has now suggested that increased litter picking could reduce the glass, something Cllr McGraw has dubbed a ‘stop gap gambit that does nothing to secure the area’.

Mr Thurston said the council investigated the problem in November 2011.

“The parish council was advised that the site did not pose a significant risk to health and that Erewash Borough Council did not propose to take any further action,” he added.

“Stanley and Stanley Common Parish Council was advised that glass would continue to come to the surface as long as the affected area remained uncovered and that regular inspections and glass removal from the affected areas should continue until a suitable grass cover could be established.

“From the outset the council has proceeded on the understanding that responsibility for maintaining the recreation ground rested with the parish council who are the owners of the site.”