‘Park should be hub for the community’

Sam Nelson and Alderman John Blair (right). INNT 41-025-FP
Sam Nelson and Alderman John Blair (right). INNT 41-025-FP

Alliance Alderman John Blair and local activist Sam Nelson have called for improvements to the facilities at Lilian Bland Community Park in Glengormley.

The two men believe that improving the play facilities and turning the existing pavilion into a dedicated community centre would help promote the park as a shared space, helping to build on good relations in the area.

“Local councillors, community groups, residents and police have worked hard to see a reduction in the instances of anti-social behaviour in the park. It is pleasing to see the community atmosphere steadily improve, making Lilian Bland Park a shared space we can all be proud of,” alderman Blair said.

“The park has become more and more popular for everyone in the greater Glengormley area, but the facilities have fallen behind those in other areas. Despite a recent minor refurbishment there is now a real demand for improved and expanded children’s play facilities in the park. There is also clear need for a dedicated community facility that can be used as a community hub for everyone. Demand for this has regularly been highlighted as a top priority in various surveys carried out in recent years.

“There is now a valuable opportunity to build upon the good work which has been done already. I have requested this to be placed on the council agenda and will be putting the case forward at every opportunity.”

Mr Nelson added: “Recent years have been a real success story for the park but more can be done to turn it into a real community hub for everyone. By improving on the facilities we can make sure the park becomes a first class shared space, one which the whole community can take real ownership of.”

He also called for the park to be considered for the Green Flag award - a stamp of authority for good standards in local parks.

Alderman Blair said that he has discussed the issue with council management, who have agreed that the issue should be discussed at a forthcoming committee meeting or at the corporate workshop next month.