Posted: Wed 1st Feb 2017

Calls for better security measures at Connah’s Quay allotments after more vandalism and thefts

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 1st, 2017

Connah’s Quay allotment tenants are counting the cost of yet another spate of mindless vandalism at the Mill Lane site.

Fed up plot holders are calling on landlord, Connah’s Quay Town Council (CQTC) to beef up security following a series of incidents over recent months.

In the latest wrecking spree, two greenhouses had glass smashed and doors were forced open by yobs looking for anything of value, poly-tunnels were slashed and items were stolen from the site.

North Wales Police said they received three reports of criminal damage following the latest incidents over the weekend.

Antony Wren, Secretary of the Mill Lane Allotment Association believes the councils ‘Empty Wallet Solutions’ approach is undermining the safety of the site, he said:

These are not the first incidents of anti-social and criminal activities that have occurred on our allotments, far from it.

If the site boundaries remain in their current state I am willing to bet these incidents of won’t be the last.

Site security is all tenants number one concern, this issue needs attention now.

I believe ‘Empty Wallet Solutions’ discussed at a recent town council meeting are wholly inadequate and will not counteract the decades of neglect that Mill Lane Allotments have had to endure.

A greenhouse belonging to community group “Digging Deeside” was also damaged in the latest incident, luckily another plot holder was able to fix it.

Last year they project was hit by a series of thefts and vandalism attacks.

The team behind “Digging Deeside” appeal for help after thieves steal tools.

Sarah Way, project facilitator for Digging Deeside says her volunteers feel the allotments are no longer a safe space, she said:

Digging Deeside is a project that enables vulnerable or isolated individuals to socialise in a safe place while learning basic gardening skills.

Many of our volunteers visit the allotments throughout the week when the project is not running to tend to various jobs around the plot.

After the last year of constant vandalism and theft our volunteers no longer feel that it is a safe space and are all asking if fences and lockable gates can secure the allotment site. In particular, if all allotment owners held their own keys.

We have heard many stories of people of all ages wandering into the allotments and helping themselves to people’s hard earned crops. This is not acceptable and adequate fencing and a gate would put a stop to this.

We do understand that there is not much funding available but perhaps the Town Council could apply through funding pots to ensure the sustainability of the allotment site.

Damage from the latest vandalism incident which took place last weekend.

The council has said the security of allotments is a key priority.

Steven Goodrun, CQTC Clerk is conducting an urgent review of the site and confirmed additional police patrols will take place in the area, he said:

The Town Council are extremely disappointed that such mindless acts of vandalism have occurred at what is such a valued asset for the town.

We would like to assure the allotment holders and residents of the town that we take these matters extremely seriously and will be taking steps to try to mitigate the problems.

We would urge anyone with information about the damage and thefts to contact the police on 101 or the Town Council to help track down those responsible.

Given that the site is located in a relatively secluded area of Connah’s Quay, it would prove very difficult (and costly) to make it completely secure – not to mention detract from the natural beauty of the site.

However, the Town Clerk is conducting an urgent review of the site and looking to identify potential solutions. All allotment holders will be contacted to keep them updated about any plans and proposals.

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