Council fights back after park slammed on social media

Hall Leys Park gardeners proudly display its current Green Flag
Hall Leys Park gardeners proudly display its current Green Flag

Derbyshire Dales District Council has robustly responded to criticism on social media of one of its parks.

The complaints followed a report in local paper The Matlock Mercury of a stabbing which took place near the park.

The paper then published a lead story featuring locals’ complaints of violence and antisocial behaviour in the park posted on Facebook and Twitter and the council's response.

In a statement the council said: "As a district council we will vigorously challenge any attempt to discredit one of the UK's best town centre parks or to discourage the tens of thousands of local people and tourists who visit every year, boosting local trade.

"Hall Leys Park is a big public space that attracts less than its fair share of nuisance. This is a fact backed up by official police figures, which show a drop in nuisance behaviour in the past year.

"CCTV is already in place, together with a public places order empowering police to confiscate alcohol if it is seen to be contributing to anti-social behaviour."

A police statement backed up the council.

It said: "Statistics covering the first eight months of this year show that 11 anti-social behaviour incidents have been reported to police compared with 12 for the same period last year. In any public place as popular at Hall Leys Park there are bound to be isolated problems."

On the paper’s Facebook site, residents’ views are mixed. Some say the park is dangerous but others praise the six Green Flag-winning green space and suggest the concerns are a storm in a teacup.

Matlock Mercury editor Phil Bramley’s view was that the community needed to pull together to discourage bad behaviour.

He wrote in his editor’s comment: "Let’s get this into perspective, Hall Leys Park is not The Bronx. The level of crime and nuisance behaviour is way below what you might expect in an inner city suburb.

"Nobody is trying to discredit the park or deter people from going – completely the opposite, in fact."

He added: "If we want a zero tolerance approach to nuisance behaviour in the area, then we all have to do our bit."

The paper regularly publishes positive stories about the park, calling it "one of UK's best" after it won its sixth Green Flag in July.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Horticulture Week Custodian Award

Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Horticulture Week Custodian Award

Winner - David Richardson, DIrector of Horticulture, Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Best Partnership: Third Sector (parks, gardens or tree care)

Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Best Partnership: Third Sector (parks, gardens or tree care)

Winner - Greenbelt Group and the Woodland Trust for Glenrothes Woodlands

Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Best Neighbourhood Park

Horticulture Week Custodian Award - Best Neighbourhood Park

Winner - London Borough of Islington for Gillespie Park


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

HORTICULTURE WEEK Custodian Awards

Find out more about the outstanding parks, gardens and arboricultural projects and teams that became our Custodian Award 2019 winners.

Products & Kit Resources