‘Pit wheel cash could have been better spent’

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Councillors in Eastwood say they are stunned money was spent on a pit wheel memorial instead of a park to reduce anti-social behaviour.

The pit wheel was erected because the area was being blighted with trouble, and youths were smashing windows and being generally noisy.

As a result Broxtowe Borough Council installed the wheel between Albert Street and Walker Street to combat the problem, but councillors Ken Woodhead and David Bagshaw said it was a waste of money and a new park would have been much more effective.

Cllr Woodhead said: “We needed a park with swings and slides – somewhere for the kiddies to go and somewhere safe to play as well.

“It beggars belief. It’s certainly not what’s required down there.

“Money could have been spent in other ways. A lot of residents living in the area are up-in-arms because they could have done something better.”

The councillors said they made their opinions about it known at Community Action Team meetings, but plans went ahead anyway.

Cllr Woodhead said he even offered to open and close the gates in the mornings and evenings if plans for a park were considered.

The pair also branded the positioning of it ‘ridiculous’ and said if a statue representing the mining history of the town is to be erected, it should be somewhere it can been.

“It’s been put at the back of a row of houses so no one can see it anyway,” said Cllr Woodhead.

“If we are going to put a pit wheel in Eastwood it should be ina prominent position.

But a spokesman for Broxtowe Borough Council said: “In order to help tackle persistent anti-social behaviour in the area, a winding wheel surrounded by a cobbled area was installed at the open space between Albert Street and Walker Street following extensive consultation with the residents from the area and the police.

“Limited funding was available and the cost of some of the schemes suggested was prohibitive.

“The area which is surrounded by housing was being used as a gathering place and the local residents where subject to broken windows, noise nuisance and other unsociable activities.

“The environmental enhancement has broken up the areas so that it does not attract anti-social activities and provides a tranquil and attractive feature between the properties.

“Feedback from some residents so far indicates that they are already feeling the benefit from the new installation.