WORK to install security measures across Reading parks and open spaces is making good progress.
The measures at Prospect Park represent an investment of £25,000 from the Council’s Safer Community budget as part of its ongoing commitment to prevent incursions on public land.
Back in November 2016, work was completed at Prospect Park, installing wooden post and rail fencing along vulnerable sections of the Tilehurst Road boundary, along with repairs to weak spots in the existing fencing.
In January, height barriers were installed at the access points for the park’s main car park on the driveway from Liebenrood Road, along with some new fencing to re-secure the area between the barriers.
Work is also progressing on the creation of new earth mound defences along the north side of the driveway from Liebenrood Road. Grass will be sowed on these mounds in spring to help blend them in with the surrounding areas.
There are also plans to carry out maintenance to the existing wooden posts and rail fencing on the other side of the driveway up towards the Mansion House.
Prior to the work starting, the Council wrote to and met with residents in the Tilehurst Road properties which overlook the park to consult them about the measures.
Elsewhere, in Coley Recreation Ground, plans are being finalised for new knee rail fencing along the St Saviours Road boundary similar to that installed at Prospect Park car park. The work here will include adding lockable bollards to protect the small opening on the Holybrook Road boundary, opposite Shaw Road.
At Courage Park, soil mounds will soon be formed along the open boundary in Edenham Crescent, as well as the addition of a height barrier at the car park entrance. Trenching work started this week to install cables for two new street lights in the park to improve visibility.
Cllr Liz Terry, Reading’s Lead Member for Neighbourhoods, said: “Prospect Park experienced an exceptionally high number of incursions during the summer of 2016 and this is something we are committed to preventing this year.
“The work completed so far shows our commitment to solving this problem. There is still work to be done, but hopefully the work that has been completed so far will make a difference this year. We listened to the concerns of local residents and have acted to protect the open spaces we all value from future incursions.”
Cllr Paul Gittings, Lead Member for Parks, said: “We are making every effort to secure Council-owned land where possible to prevent incursions. Along with the disturbance to residents, the cost to tax payers of incursions is considerable, factoring in Council officer and police time, the necessary legal action and the amount of mess often left behind that has to be cleared.
“We’ve made excellent progress so far installing new measures to prevent groups gaining access to our public spaces in the future. I’d like to thank all those involved in completing these new measures at Prospect Park and I look forward to seeing similar measures in other vulnerable open areas in Reading.”