Fury at park damage

Parents of young children have raised concern and expressed their anger over unthinking youths in Hillside.

Many parents living in the area feel that they can no longer let their children go to the play parks on their own, despite them only being around the corner.

They were alarmed when they visited one of the housing estate’s toddler play parks on Hillside Place and found broken glass bottles strewn across the floor area and swear words painted mindlessly across the benches in the form of graffiti.

As the ground in the toddler play park is made from specialised material to make for soft landings, bits of glass have become stuck in the ground and the surface has made it increasingly difficult to remove the sharp pieces, making the park incredibly dangerous for playing children.

At the last Portlethen and District Community Council meeting the concerned residents questioned a Stewart Milne representative whether they would be able to do anything about the glass situation.

Managing Director of Stewart Milne Homes, John Low said he would try to get some sort of industrial vacuum which would hopefully help get rid of the glass problem, however Stewart Milne Homes’ liability is limited when damage becomes wilful.

It’s not just the risk of injury that parents are worried about, many also feel that they don’t want to leave their small children unattended at the park if there are people that are capable of doing this kind of damage hanging around the area.

This episode follows for further criticism of the council by some of the residents. They feel that the people carrying out the graffiti and smashing bottles are only doing so because they have nothing else to do in the area and feel surprised that the council have allowed the housing development to proceed to the size it is without giving kids of all ages something to do or somewhere to go.

The issue of overflowing bins and dog waste was recently brought up in the Portlethen and District Community Council meeting which John Low from Stewart Milne Homes said he would also look into. Residents say that the overflowing bin issue has been resolved but there is not much anyone can do about the increasing amount of dog waste, apart from the dog owners.

Resident Stephen Harvey who has been campaigning for a school in the area said: “The toddler parks are pretty basic but better than nothing, it’s just such a shame not everyone is respecting them. Without them there really will be nothing over here.”