A REGULAR Valley Park user has refuted Newtownabbey Borough Council’s claim that it is “business as usual” at the O’Neill Road facility and has instead stated the organisation is “ignoring” essential maintenance on site.
Regular park users have told the Newtownabbey Times that they feel the council is allowing the park to become run down while it considers using part of the facility for a new cemetery.
However, the council has denied the suggestions and assured users all regular maintenance schedules “are as normal”.
David Livingstone, who uses the park on a regular basis said the Valley Park was not getting the same attention as other green areas in the borough. He said he has informed the council of a path, close to the leisure centre, which is constantly flooded forcing walkers either though the water or onto the grass.
David said: “A pipe, which should take the water underneath the path is obviously blocked. So the river flows through the grass and across the path all the time. They dug a small trench to direct the water away, but that did not do anything and a lot more needs to be done - it has been like this for about two years.”
When the Times visited on Monday afternoon (July 16) a constant stream of water covered the path.
David continued: “That’s not so bad, at least you can walk through it. but when it is raining, it is really dangerous with the speed the water flows over it - it can be a real torrent. I would be scared the dog could get swept away, it can be that strong. The council needs to act now, before someone gets hurt.”
David said when he contacted staff and officials at Mossley Mill about the problem, he was told there was “no money” available for the repair work.
He added: “They have invested in Loughshore - twice, but will not do much-needed repair work in the Valley Park. I am not sure as to the reasons behind it, but the plans to build a cemetery in the park probably have something to do with it.”
A spokeswoman for Newtownabbey Borough Council responded: “The Parks section within the council is aware of the pathway in question and its problems with flooding.
“The drains surrounding the pathway have been cleared on at least three occasions in the past year in a bid to solve the issue. Investigations into the source of the problem and a solution are ongoing.
“The council would like to assure users of the Valley Park that it is business as usual for the Valley Park.
“All routine maintenance, grass cutting schedules and visits to the park by council Parks Wardens, as provided for within the Parks section budget, will continue as normal.”