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Formby councillors take action to prevent illegal access to Duke Street park



Formby councillors have made Duke Street park more secure by arranging for a gate to be locked shut in order to stop vehicles from gaining access to the playing fields.


Cllr Nina Killen and her former ward colleague Catie Page, responded to a concern raised by a resident last month that the entrance to the park via Phillips Lane, at the Kings Road end, was wide enough for vehicles to pass.


After a weeks-long battle last year to remove an illegal encampment from the park, the resident was concerned that access could be too easily gained again.


The Labour councillors contacted the council to ask that it be made secure.


Mrs Page, who lost her seat to FRAG candidate Maria Bennett in the recent local elections, said the council had acted quickly. "As soon as we contacted the council an officer came back to us to say they agreed that the entrance needed to be more secure and this could be done quite easily by welding a lock on and bolting one gate shut. This was done within a few weeks and we thank the council for their swift action, and the resident for raising the issue."


Cllr Nina Killen added: "Duke St park is not an appropriate place for travellers to stay. We support the provision of services for travellers but cannot allow illegal encampments on sites such as Duke St park. It restricts the availability of the provision for other members of the public and often results in a massive clear-up operation being needed. I am pleased the officers have taken such swift steps to make Duke Street park more secure. Thank you to the resident who contacted us about this and I would urge any resident to do the same about any issue they have or see."


Former councillor Mrs Page confirmed she would continue working in the community despite losing her councillor role, and would be seeking selection to stand again in the election next May.


She said: "It was a very disappointing result on the night losing my seat by just 17 votes, but I will continue all the work I do in the community in Formby, for the Formby Hub, Formby Pool Trust, the luncheon club and as a school governor.


"After receiving a fantastic response from the very wide range of local organisations and local people I will be seeking the Labour nomination again next year and try to win back the seat."


Cllr Killen can be contacted at nina.killen@sefton.gov.uk


PIC: Cllr Nina Killen (left) and Catie Page at the gate at Duke Street park which has been locked shut to stop vehicular access

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