Wish Park in Hove: Community Concerns Rise as Neglect Takes Toll

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Wish Park in Hove is facing increasing scrutiny as residents unite to address the park’s deterioration. Users of the park report large sections rendered unusable due to neglect, with the removal of the outdoor gym in 2021 and subsequent stalled efforts for replacement being major points of contention.

The football pitch suffered damage during a circus event earlier this year, and the necessary repairs have yet to be made, rendering the pitch unusable. Similarly, the cricket pitch faced damage this month when a council van drove over it after heavy rain. The once-active volunteer gardening group has also dwindled in enthusiasm, coinciding with the departure of the dedicated park keeper, Gerald Flanagan.

A petition, initiated by a concerned resident and signed by over 1,700 people, urges authorities to take immediate action to restore and maintain the park.

The removal of the outdoor gym equipment in 2021 left a void in the park’s recreational offerings. The Friends of Wish Park secured funding for replacement equipment from Veolia and the council, but the promised progress has not materialized, leaving residents disheartened.

The circus event in spring caused substantial damage to the football pitch, and despite the prolonged impact on usability and safety, no timely repairs were undertaken. Organized games were subsequently halted due to safety concerns, exacerbating the lack of recreational space for the community.

The cricket pitch, essential for local enthusiasts, suffered additional harm this month when a council van traversed it in adverse weather conditions. The absence of prompt repairs adds to the growing list of challenges faced by park-goers who rely on these facilities for sports and leisure.

The volunteer gardening group, once a vibrant contributor to the park’s upkeep, has lost momentum since the departure of Gerald Flanagan, who played a crucial role in organizing and supporting the group with essential tools and equipment.

The petition, aimed at urging authorities to address the issues, highlights the frustration of the community. The concerns voiced include the lack of progress on replacing the gym equipment, the damage to sports facilities, and the diminishing interest in the once-active gardening group.

Brighton and Hove City Council responded to the concerns, acknowledging the challenges faced by Wish Park. They clarified that the funds allocated for new gym equipment remained unused due to the council’s inability to match the funding. However, co-funding with an external organization has now been secured, and a project manager appointed to collaborate with the Friends of Wish Park.

The council expressed awareness of the issues and pledged to engage with residents and businesses concerned about the park in the coming weeks. Regarding the football pitch being out of use, they clarified it was due to planned events and sports play during the summer, not a lack of maintenance. The council assured the community of their commitment to reinstating the pitch promptly.

As Wish Park’s future hangs in the balance, residents hope that the engagements promised by the council will lead to tangible improvements, restoring the park to its former status as a thriving community space.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcockhttps://newswriteups.com/
Founder | Head of PR Sam is a valuable asset to News Write Ups with his extensive knowledge in online PR, social strategy, e-commerce, and news websites. He brings industry-leading expertise and has a track record of delivering successful campaigns for clients. With his skills and experience, Sam plays a key role in ensuring that News Write Ups stays ahead of the competition and continues to provide high-quality content and services to its readers and partners. sam@newswriteups.com

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