Thu, 30 Jul 2020
A THATCHAM councillor has said a small army is having to clean up the Henwick Worthy sports ground following antisocial behaviour at the site.
Keith Woodhams (Lib Dem, Thatcham West) said he found bloodied sanitary products, used drug packets, Donald Trump printed toilet paper and condoms around the playing fields.
Residents had also reported finding human excrement and being kept awake by loud music, swearing and cars at the site late at night.
Mr Woodhams said: “Residents aren’t overly happy about the response they have been given.
“The police say we don’t have the resources to attend every party.
“It’s a little bit tense at the moment.
“I’m not sure if lockdown has taken place locally.
“It seemed to get worse and I thought ‘oh my gosh’ and I bought a litter-picker.
“I go round on a Monday morning and pick up as much as I can.”
Mr Woodhams said he thought he’d done well after picking up seven sacks-worth of litter in one outing, but the site manager had 25 on his truck.
He said: “It’s a shame.
“The staff at the sports ground keep it in such pristine condition and it looks beautiful.
“I come in on Monday and there’s empty bottles, and crushed packets, you name it, it’s there.
“It’s almost like the table has been set.
“There’s knives and forks and bottles of alcohol all in a circle and then they get up and casually walk away.
“They have got no feeling about picking up litter and taking it home.
“It’s just so bad.
“Me and the residents, we are out there like a small army.”
Mr Woodhams said the situation appeared to have calmed down, but he worried that things would deteriorate during the school holidays.
“It’s a sports ground, not a household waste recycling centre,” he said.
“All the time I have been associated with the sports ground I have never known it be this bad or anybody mention litter before.”
The sports ground is owned by West Berkshire Council and managed through an agreement with Thatcham Town Council.
Mr Woodhams said that “little bits” were being done to “try and make things less comfortable for the naughty people to make a mess”.
He questioned whether more bins would be needed at the site, and that since the Government had cut the police force there was no real deterrent.
He said: “I’m wondering if we put more bins down, will it make a scrap of difference?
“Are they really going to pick it up and put it in a bin?
“There’s about six or seven, but I’m wondering if more will be the answer.”