Concerns that small fence at playground could lead to vandalism

by Mark O'Brien

Cllr William Lavelle has criticised South Dublin County Council (SDCC) over their decision to build a smaller fence around the new playground in Griffeen Valley Park.
Cllr Lavelle said he believes that the smaller fence could lead to an increase in anti-social behaviour and potential damage to the new playground.
In a statement to residents, Cllr Lavelle said that he has been in contact with SDCC management over the past number of weeks but he has found their response to be disappointing.
“I have already had an intensive back and forth with SDCC managers on this matter over the past two weeks,” he said.
Cllr Lavelle added that, while a taller fence would not act as a complete deterrent, it was preferable to the smaller fence being planned.
“My view, as repeatedly expressed, is that while a taller fence may not stop access by some of these most intent of wilful damage, I am nonetheless convinced that a lower fence will result in more teenagers being present in the playground at night, resulting in definite, persistent anti-social activity and damage,” he said.
Cllr Lavelle told The Gazette that he believed that there was a wider issue of councillors being overruled by council officials on matters affecting local residents.
He said: “This goes to the heart of what I believe, whereby local councillors are being overruled by unelected officials.”
Cllr Lavelle added that he intended to raise the issue with the new Minister of State for Local Government and Electoral Reform John Paul Phelan.
In response to Cllr Lavelle’s concerns a council official said that they did not believe the installation of taller fencing acted as a sufficient deterrent to vandalism.
The official also said that they felt that the cost involved in purchasing higher fencing and then spending money repairing it was a poor use of resources.
The official added that while there may be instances of vandalism when the playground initially opens, the council intends to be vigilant and work with local gardai to combat any issues of anti-social behaviour that arise.

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