Reader's Letter: Traffic cones, litter and threats

It was with little surprise that I walked over the bridge in Wilmslow Park this morning to once again find a number of traffic cones and safety barriers thrown into the river.

Since I last wrote, this section of The Bollin river continues to be a popular meeting spot for large groups of teenagers, with a large party taking place at the weir where they tend to gather, clearly audible from the bridge on both Friday and Saturday night.

I once again decided to carry out my civic duty and retrieve the cones and barriers (note for Cheshire East Council - these are now located where all the trees have been felled), followed by a wade up the river to clean up the numerous plastic and glass bottles thrown into it (three bin bags filled in total, plus a camping chair!).

As I moved up the river towards the weir, there was the usual large group of teenage boys and girls (around 15-20, mainly boys) clearly smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol - I'd put their average age about 14/15 years-old. Whilst in the river collecting bottles, two were thrown in beside me, followed by a barrage of abuse. As I made my way out of the river, I was confronted by around 5 of the boys who surrounded me, obstructing my way. When I asked what their issue was, I was met with a torrent of foul-mouthed abuse.

On this occasion I have reported this incident to Cheshire Police with the hope that they might occasionally patrol the area, which is clearly become a meeting place for the unoccupied youth of Wilmslow.

My concern wasn't for me, but anyone else who might be walking past these groups of teenagers and feel equally threatened. I'm a 45-year-old male in reasonable shape, but just imagine if this happened to someone elderly or with their young family!?

Sadly, there's no consequence anymore for people acting this way.

It won't deter me continuing to clean the area up though, but I do wish the Council would get on with repairing the pavement and remove the street furniture before the inevitable happens again!

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Stuart Redgard
Monday 26th July 2021 at 9:53 pm
Thank you for the letter and the efforts to clean up the RIcer Bollin. As membership secretary of the Wilmslow Cleanteam I hope you would receive a warm welcome if you ever decided to attend our twice-monthly community litter picks. The next events are:

Wednesday 4th August @ 10:00 - 11:30, meeting at The Honey Bee, Altrincham Road Wilmslow, SK9 4LT.

Saturday 7th August @ 10:00 - 11:30, meeting at Bank Square Wilmslow, SK9 1AN
Mark Goldsmith
Tuesday 27th July 2021 at 10:25 am
Hi Matthew (and Stuart & the Wilmslow Clean Team)

Thank you for all your efforts to clear up the Bollin river. I am very grateful and I am sure the other readers on here are too.

The police are aware of the teenagers as they have moved them on from causing problems at Spring Street car park and on Carnival Fields. Dispersal Orders have been issued to some, which prohibits them from congregating in the town centre. But Dispersal Orders are not much of a deterrent and can just move the problem elsewhere, which may explain why they are now congregating at the weir. The police do visit schools and speak about anti-social behaviour but they are not child minders and cannot be everywhere all the time. Therefore, they have to react when a new problem pops up, so I will ask them to visit the weir and monitor what is happening if they are not already doing so.

To try and avoid this ongoing issue, Cheshire East are planning to put a small youth shelter on Little Lindow Common as part of a major revamp for the park (the plans for which will be announced in the next few months). The shelter will be vandal proof and give youths somewhere dry and suitable to meet. It will be next to the police and fire station, which may also temper their behaviour too. Hopefully, it will fix this long-standing issue but we will have to wait and see. We can only lead a horse to water...

Finally, Wilmslow Park South is a private road, so the residents on the estate are responsible for the repair work, not the council. Therefore, I cannot tell you how or when they intend to fix the pavement and remove the barriers that keep ending up in the river. However, you can contact them directly about these issues through their web site: http://wilmslowparkroadusers.org.uk/


Cllr Mark Goldsmith
Residents of Wilmslow
Wilmslow West & Chorley

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