Quarry Bank park shut after 'mindless' people flout coronavirus lockdown
Council bosses have ordered the urgent closure of a Quarry Bank park – following reports of "mindless" groups of people gathering at the open space.
Stevens Park will be closed for 48 hours from today, with Dudley Council reviewing the closure after that.
The authority has received several reports about groups of people gathering at the site flouting the Government rules in the recent warm weather. Guidelines say people should only go outdoors for a small number of essential reasons, including exercise, but must still follow social distancing restrictions.
Dudley Council's leader Patrick Harley has received reports about people ignoring the rules about staying two metres apart at all times.
The gates to Stevens Park have now been locked and signs installed to let people know about the closure.
Councillor Harley said: "The people who flout these rules are mindless and put everyone at risk.
"I said before that if people ignored the rules we would have no other option but to close the parks – which impacts people’s lives further.
"We simply cannot have people gathering in large groups – it puts themselves at risk and others and will also impact on our NHS who are working flat out to tackle this terrible virus."
He added: "Thankfully the vast majority of people are doing their bit to help and staying indoors but I am sick and tired of others who seemingly go out of their way to help spread this virus.
"This closure of one of our parks is not taken lightly.
"People need to stay at home, save lives and protect the NHS. If they don’t other parks will follow.”
Himley Hall and Park was recently closed following similar issues and Councillor Harley warned at the time that more parks would follow if people continued to ignore the guidelines.
Other parks in the Dudley borough remain open as normal as it stands.