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Kick ‘no ball games’ into touch: Councillor calls for outdated language to be dropped from Angus park rules

Keptie Pond.
Keptie Pond.

Parks chiefs have been told to drop outdated language from new regulations being drawn up for Angus open spaces.

Pages of planned rules for people visiting Keptie Pond in Arbroath have been put together in a bid to protect the park where volunteers are working to creating a biodiversity area.

A Big Bench was installed at the pond in 2018 as part of an international public art project.

But there have been clashes between the Keptie Friends group and locals over activities such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

The rows – and regular vandalism –  were said to have left the disheartened volunteer group “in tatters”.

Seven pages of rules for one-popular boating pond

Angus officials have now drawn up management rules for the pond and park.

They include a planned ban on canoeing, rafting, rowing and sailing in the shallow water, with swimming also prohibited.

The rules have been written in a very old-fashioned way.

Carnoustie councillor Mark McDonald

Using model boats and aircraft will also be against the rules, as well as a ban on the release of balloons or sky lanterns.

One councillor said he agreed with the objective, but the authority needed to leave behind the ‘No Ball Games Allowed’ type messages of the past.

Carnoustie SNP councillor Mark McDonald said: “It’s important we go with the recommendations, but do we as a council really want to be going out and consulting with the public with the way these rules have been written?

“They are very old-fashioned,” he said.

Keptie Friends stalwart George Park during previous work.

“I would like to see us consult in a more modern way.”

Carnoustie independent David Cheape added: “The rules are seven pages long and sound like a list of red tape.

“They could be simplified to make it much more readable to the layman.

“I got to page two and turned off,” he said.

Public consultation will  be held on new rules

Communities director Stewart Ball said: “Obviously the spirit of these management rules is to persuade people to behave responsibly when they use the park.

“We will go into a public consultation period so I am more than happy to listen to any feedback on suggested changes to the wording and take them on board.”

The spirit of these management rules is to persuade people to behave responsibly when they use the park.

Angus communities director Stewart Ball

The parks discussion also brought a plea from Arbroath SNP councillor Brenda Durno for consideration to be given to putting padlocks on vandal-hit local hotspots.

It follows an incident last week when safety surfacing was damaged at Cliffburn community park in Arbroath – just a day after it re-opened following more than £2,000 worth of repairs.

“Some of the parks have floodlights on at night but some don’t,” she said.

“I wonder if some could be locked up at night and opened again in the morning.”

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