Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Bentley Haye Country Park – added security measures

by Ian Shires on 13 August, 2019

High security retractable bollards are to be installed at the service entrance to Bentley Haye Country Park off Bentley Lane, Willenhall following a site security incident yesterday. 

We received some information yesterday about the gate onto Bentley Haye Country Park off Bentley Lane being wide open leaving the large grassed area vulnerable to an unauthorised encampment. We reported the facts into both Clean and Green and Environmental Enforcement. Closer inspection revealed that the lock had actually been ground off. A new lock was fitted and the site secured before the end of play yesterday.

This is not the first time that a lock has been tampered with and although there is a bund protecting the site it was  breached a couple of years ago. As a result the bund has been increased in size and the lock is protected. Yesterday’s incident proves that more needs to be done.

We had discussions yesterday with officers to consider ways to make the site more secure. We have had some feedback off Walsall Council’s Parks and Countryside Operations Team which forms part of Clean and Green. They have considered the points we made about the need for some sort of back up security behind the gate. They have taken into consideration that the large open space that the gate protects requires cutting once a year, and access to the the whole site is required for mowing / cutting back the paths, maintaining steps / other site furniture and woodland management works so access is required. It has now been recognised that the gate on its own is vulnerable so it has been decided that two high security retractable bollards will be installed behind the gate. This work will be carried as a matter of urgency.

We’d like to thank those local residents who contacted the Focus Team to alert us to the problem and the officers at Walsall Council  for recognising urgent action was needed.

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