Club demand action over park youths

DEMANDING ACTION Margaret Hopkins with fellow members of Wilton Park Bowling Club.
DEMANDING ACTION Margaret Hopkins with fellow members of Wilton Park Bowling Club.

Bowling veterans want Kirklees Council to take action to stamp out anti-social behaviour ruining their green.

Members of Wilton Park Bowling Club in Batley are speaking out against youths who have been misusing their plot after hours.

Chairwoman Margaret Hopkins said: “It’s the only bowling green that isn’t fenced off in North Kirklees so the kids just run riot.

“There are no notices up to say ‘Keep off the green’. Then we would have some ammunition to point out to them.”

Youths have played football and cricket on the site, and Margaret said verbal abuse is fired at members if they ask the the culprits to leave.

“We’ve been broken into twice – we haven’t even been open a year! They ride across on bikes and do wheelies and all sorts. We have lost a few members and they have gone because of this. One team refuses to play on it.”

Margaret said four players have stopped attending over the last year as a result of the problem.

“We want some action from the council and some support from them.

“It’s a beautiful, beautiful park and it’s gone to rack and ruin.”

Margaret said that there is plenty of other green space in Wilton Park for young people to use and play sports.

She added that the bowlers often get spectators who use the nearby cafe while taking in the games, and these could be put off by the behaviour she has seen.

She also noted that the number gardeners keeping the park in shape has decreased, whereas before they came twice a week.

The Reporter Series approached Kirklees Council for a response to see if placing a fence or taking other measures at the facility could be an option, but they failed to provide one.