File photo: Monread Park
An overall plan to upgrade Monread Park in Naas will not be available for at least a year.
This is despite a claim by local resident and Naas councillor Darren Scully that it is “vandalised, run down and in a bad state of repair”.
He demanded the installation of a CCTV system. He said some 6.500 people live in the area and the park is one of the most used used recreational facilities in Naas. He expressed disappointment at a response by Kildare County Council to the effect that a ‘masterplan’ is needed for the park and any investment must take account of competing demands for money to pay for the provision of playgrounds at Sallins, Caragh and Eadestown.
KCC has also pointed out that plans are needed to decide exactly how 33 acres of amenity land will be used in Sallins. KCC said that if a majority of the councillors on the Naas Municipal District decide to prioritise an upgrade of the playground at Monread and the installation of fencing, then other commitments “can be rescheduled and delayed”.
KCC believes that the upgrade of the park should be part of a an overall masterplan — which would also address issues such as parking, changing facilities and the planned dog park. Work on a masterplan for Monread will only start once commitments to Sallins, Caragh and Eadestown are met.
The estimated start time for the Monread masterplan is the end of 2018.
But Cllr Scully said the preparation of a master plan will take a lot of time and in the meantime if €50,000 was made available it would “do a lot of good”.
He said new equipment will be needed there over the next six months and ‘s this should be done because “there’s not a hope” that the €365,000 earmarked for new playgrounds will be spent over the next 12 months.
Cllr Scully said there is a lack of focus on Naas and many thing that were agreed to be done haven’t actually materialised.
Another councillor Sorcha O’Neill (Ind) said that passive surveillance was what is needed because CCTV and new equipment can be provided but “it’ll be wrecked again”.
She said fake cameras were erected and these there “thrashed.”
Sallins councillor Carmel Kelly said many people from that town use the park and she suggested that the playground be moved closer to the road to facilitate passive surveillance. Cllr Anne Breen said that the park is not locked up at night and there is anti social behaviour there “all the time.”
Many people responsible for anti social behaviour in the park are “not from the locality” said Cllr Seamie Moore who said that while the park was a considerable investment, the playground is “a sham.”
He added: “Beer cans are being thrown after drinking (has taken place) and this should not be happening.” He called for high fencing and a “minimum number of access points.”
Cllr Fintan Brett supported the call for tr €50-60,000 to be spent and said it is a sad day if the money can’t be spent to upgrade the area and install adequate security.
Naas Mayor Rob Power said while more oversight is needed and anti-social behaviour is a priority issue for many people, he had reservations about diverting money from playground projects in Sallins or Caragh.