Shannon Slams Graffiti Artists In Ards Parks

Graffiti is a blight on our playparks says Jim Shannon MP

Graffiti is a blight on our playparks says Jim Shannon MP

Strangford MP Shannon MP has urged action to be taken by council and parents in tandem to address “the scourge of Graffiti in our play parks”.

“He said: “The Ards and North Down Borough Council are frequently cleaning but they simply cannot stay on top of the sheer level of vandalism taking place at Londonderry Park.

“It clear that a publicised strategy must take place to ask the community to become involved in sending the message that this isn’t harmless fun and that the destruction can not continue,” said Jim Shannon.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon is concerned at the level of graffiti in the parks in Ards.

Councillor Naomi Armstrong-Cotter said: “With two young children that use this park multiple times a week, I get a running commentary on what is broken now.

“But I have to say I was shocked when my seven-year old spelled out a word she had read but that she didn’t recognise and it was a word that we wouldn’t use.

“Whilst I know for many this isn’t a big deal, for me I was annoyed that I had to explain this to her. On one occasion my niece had to go back to her car to get wipes to clean explicit images off the rides and she spent 45 min doing this whilst the children played.

“One grandparent informs me that they do not come to the park without wipes and whilst their little one is playing, they do their best to clean this.

“This is something that I wholeheartedly applaud and thank those in our community who want to do their bit, however, there is only so much a huggies baby wipe can do and most of the graffiti is in need of industrial strength product.

“I know the council is aware of this and indeed when I took my girls to Blair Mayne Park on Thursday a staff member was out taking photos of the images there.

“The blight of destruction and graffiti simply isn’t fair on our young children and for many parents struggling with the cost of living a decent local park which is free to use is an essential part of learning by play for their child and we need to protect this.

“There are pieces of equipment that are broken and can’t be used and it is so disheartening to see top class facilities which provide so much fun and learning for children and which cost the rate payer to install, wantonly destroyed by members of our own communities and costing more to fix.

“I am asking that youth workers, community workers, schools and families all take the time to explain to our young people the harm that is being caused and the money that it costs to repair what takes them only a few seconds to cause.

“It just isn’t fair on our young children who love the park and parents who have to clean equipment or steer children from other equipment that is damaged or has bad language or drawings marking it.

“We need our young people to take ownership and pride in our area and this will take time and us working as a community as a whole to address that,” added Mr Shannon.