Express & Star

Councillor calls for more bins and benches to improve Sandwell park

Replacing missing benches, improving play surfaces, and adding more bins are some of the demands by a Sandwell councillor to spruce up a park in the borough.

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Councillor William Gill with his letter calling for improvements to Farley Park

In a public letter to Sandwell Council, Councillor William Gill called for improvements to Farley Park, following residents’ complaints at local surgeries.

Councillor Gill said he was particularly concerned about anti-social behaviour at the park and wished to see the derelict play area brought back into use.

“I appreciate there is a range of factors affecting the progress of these matters, but none of them are particularly ground-breaking and would go a long way into making the park safer for residents.”

If successful, Councillor Gill’s campaign would see some of the biggest improvements to the park in years. He said he wanted to make the park “more accessible” for children of the Newtown estate and the Greets Green area.

Chris, of the Newtown estate in Great Bridge, welcomed the action.

He said “Will is trying his best to improve our estate. He’s got family here and wants the best for our area.

“We need a local champion and let’s hope the council listen and make Farley Park even better. If you want to get kids off the streets and into the parks, then give a reason to go to the parks.”

Councillor Laura Rollins, cabinet member for leisure and tourism, said the council had already invested £16,000 into improvements to Farley Park.

“As part of Sandwell Council’s programme of works for Green Spaces 2022/23, refurbishment of the BMX and skatepark area are underway at Farley Park. The council is also adding new line markings to the multi-use games area. These works will be completed in the next two weeks.

“A new play area at Farley Park and improvements were made to the bowling green as part an improvement project in 2019/20.”

She added the derelict play area was “beyond economical repair” and has had its old equipment removed.

“We will be working with residents and local councillors to consider future improvements to this area as part of our annual programme of works,” she added.

“The council sets out its investment plans for green spaces each year aligned to priorities and budgets, with works for 2023/24 due before Sandwell’s cabinet in June.”