Residents fear for youngsters risking their lives

CONCERNED residents living near to a ball park in Portishead are calling for action before someone is badly injured or even killed.

CONCERNED residents living near to a ball park in Portishead are calling for action before someone is badly injured or even killed.

Youngsters using the facility are often seen climbing on the roof of Parish Wharf Leisure Centre to retrieve their balls and residents are concerned there may soon be a fatality.

People living in Station Road have also endured balls flying into their gardens and cars for years and say it is time something is done about it.

David Fitzpatrick, who lives opposite the ball court, said: "The thing that concerns me most, is young people are risking their lives.

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"A ball is regularly kicked on to the roof of the adjacent leisure centre where it sits in the gutter.

"I don't know how they get up there, but it is a common sight for us to see young people suddenly appear right at the top of the roof and run down the sloped area to the gutter so they can then kick their ball back down.

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"It is extremely dangerous and presents a constant worry."

Lucy Kew, a Portishead hairdresser who also lives in Station Road, said: "It's surprising no-one has been killed. They must be mad."

Mr Fitzpatrick added: "This isn't the only issue we need to raise. The ball is constantly kicked in to the road resulting in regular damage to our vehicles. I have had to replace several wing mirrors on both my van and my wife's car and they're not cheap.

"Lots of the cars have dents in them from the balls. There is only a low fence outside the pitch before the road. Young people jump the fence to retrieve their balls and run straight in to the road. They also jump our garden fences, my fence has been broken twice so far.

"I understand that young people need to have somewhere to play but they need to think of their own safety and give more thought to the residents who live here."

Town Councillor, Reyna Knight, whose ward includes Station Road said: "This is the first I have heard of these problems. I urge Mr Fitzpatrick to make an appointment to see me or come along to my surgery at the Folk Hall and I will take up the issues and contact the relevant authorities immediately."

What do you think? To voice your views write in to the Times, 32 Waterloo Street, Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, BS23 1LW.

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