Marlborough Council to crack down on teen drinkers and vandals in town gardens

This Is Wiltshire: Coun Noel Barrett-Morton is complaining about youngsters making a mess of the Priory Gardens Coun Noel Barrett-Morton is complaining about youngsters making a mess of the Priory Gardens

Council staff are fed up with clearing up cannabis butts, drink cans and litter left behind by youngsters partying in Marlborough’s Priory Gardens.

Town councillor Noel Barrett-Morton said Marlborough Town Council staff have to spend two hours every morning cleaning up the debris left from the previous evening when, although the garden’s gates are locked after dark, teenagers climb in over the wall from Figgins Lane footpath.

He said they kick footballs into flower beds, including the roses planted by the Rotary Club to celebrate its 100th anniversary, causing damage and leaving gaps that the council gardeners have to fill.

School students are suspected of being the culprits during afternoons, he said, but in the evening when the gardens are locked, more teenagers pour over the wall to sit around drinking alcohol and smoking.

Although there are four prominent litter bins in the gardens they are ignored by the youngsters.

The councillor said: “The council’s gardeners and outside staff have a real problem every morning because the litter is so awful.

“And another big problem is the smoking of wacky-baccy after the gardens are closed at night by the kids who get in by climbing over the wall.”

He said he suspected many of those disregarding the gardens’ no ball games and no cycling rules were from St John’s School but although he had written to the head Dr Patrick Hazlewood he not had a reply.

One resident of The Priory sheltered apartments for OAPs run by Sarsen Housing, who asked not to be named because of fear of reprisals, said: “The boys seem too tired to walk to the public toilets 100 yards away in the car park so just urinate against the Cromwell Mews wall behind the bushes or in the trees next to the Priory residents’ car park.”

On Monday town councillors agreed to take up the issue with Dr Hazlewood and to ask the police to step up patrols in the gardens and to evict anyone found in there after dusk.

St John’s broke up last Friday and no one from the school could be found to comment as the Gazette went to press.

Comments (1)

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3:06pm Tue 31 Jul 12

Arthur0 says...

Well Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton would be making a fuss. He lives in the corner house of Cromwell Court overlooking the gardens. Methinks a classic case of 'not in my backyard'.
Well Councillor Noel Barrett-Morton would be making a fuss. He lives in the corner house of Cromwell Court overlooking the gardens. Methinks a classic case of 'not in my backyard'. Arthur0
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