School kids in ‘clean up’ plea

Petition presented: Pictured (from left) are, back ' Jacob Kightly, Bartosz Janika, Wictoria Kapusta, Amber Chuter, Peter Blackshaw, Josh Bright; middle ' head Heather Beeken, Pauline Seymour, council chairman Michael Seymour; front ' Nikola Lipinski and Sarah Long.
Petition presented: Pictured (from left) are, back ' Jacob Kightly, Bartosz Janika, Wictoria Kapusta, Amber Chuter, Peter Blackshaw, Josh Bright; middle ' head Heather Beeken, Pauline Seymour, council chairman Michael Seymour; front ' Nikola Lipinski and Sarah Long.
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Children from St Paul’s School in Spalding called in a VIP to help put a stop to vandalism, littering and dog fouling on the nearby Fulney Field Skatepark.

South Holland District Council chairman Michael Seymour received a petition signed by 120 pupils – and promised to ask for more dog warden visits and for council staff to issue more fines.

The council has praised the children for getting involved in democracy and thanked them for their petition, letters and drawings.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, council portfolio 
holder for the street scene, said: “The skatepark is a tremendous facility for the local community.

“It is extremely disappointing to see dog owners displaying such a callous disregard for the welfare of the many young people that enjoy using this open space.

“When it was first built, we had hoped to see the local community taking a proactive role in the day-to-day care of this area.

“Given the limited resources available to the council, it may be that we can find ways of working with local people to help them address the anti-social behaviour of these dog owners.”

School headteacher Heather Beeken said Key Stage 2 children invited Coun Seymour and his wife Pauline to school as part of their “local studies and literacy work on persuasion and giving a balanced view”.

Mrs Beeken said: “Children have written letters to their local councillor, David Ashby, prepared leaflets about the skatepark detailing the great things about it and the problems around litter and vandalism, along with their suggestions to improve it.

“These include more robust and bigger bins, signage to remind people to pick up waste, patrols by police and dog wardens and the issuing of on-the-spot fines.”

The council says it tries to keep the field clear of dog dirt and is appealing to people who walk their dogs there to do all they can to keep it a safe and clean place for young people to use.

In the winter months, the council’s street cleansing team works the field every week – and that’s increased to twice a week during the better weather.

The council parks team carries out a litter pick before and after each grass cutting.