Drinking, smoking or using foul or abusive language could soon be outlawed in certain parts of Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens, if councillors approve a new order to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
High Peak Borough Council’s Executive will meet tonight (Thursday) to discuss imposing a new Public Spaces Protection Order.
Marion Smith, 73, said: “There is never any trouble when I am in the park, but maybe I am there earlier than the people who the order is referencing so I never see them.
“It can be a bit intimidating for some elderly people to walk past gangs especially at dusk time and no-one should be made to feel like that. Although, it’s six of one and half a dozen of the other.
“There will always be the culture of young people hanging around, it’s what they do. There should be some controls in place, but where will they go if they are moved on?”
Anyone who is guilty of an offence under the new order would be liable for a fine.
Kate Butler, 32, from Buxton, said: “The goings on in the Pavilion Gardens isn’t a problem for me, but I do not for one minute think all youngsters are causing trouble - it’s just they have no where to go.
“What are teenagers meant to do when there are no facilities in the area for them?”
The new order would restrict people from entering the covered, lower level of the Pavilion Gardens car park, the band stand, or the toddler and swing areas after the park has closed.
Andy Riordan, 23, from Buxton, said: “I don’t go into the park much. I used to go in with my dog but there has never been any trouble or anything that would put me off going back. I don’t know if this new council idea will work - it could but a case of who will be responsible for it?”
Councillors are being recommended to approve the order, which would also put a stop to people ‘loitering’, smoking and drinking or having alcohol in the areas mentioned above.
Stephen Mason, 63, from Buxton, said: “If there is a problem with anti-social behaviour in the Gardens I haven’t noticed it.
“I think the council and the police should be out in the Gardens assessing the situation for themselves before bringing in this order.”
However David Swinhoe, from Buxton, thinks the proposal is a good one.
The 59-year-old, from Earl Sterndale, said: “The Pavilion Gardens are beautiful and it’s sad to think people have no civic sense anymore, but times have changed.
“I remember when there used to be a warden in the Gardens who would be a visible presence to make sure people and the area stayed safe.
“Everyone wants a vandalism-free park so I hope this works.”
Michelle Greenwood, 44, works at the Hawthorns Care Home across from the Pavilion Gardens. She said: “I can be on a late shift until 10pm and there is a bit of noise from the carpark but not much. Nothing that causes a nuisance to the residents, which is the most important thing.
“If these people are going to be moved on or fined, where will they go? There is nothing for children and young people to do in the area, which I think is part of the problem.
“If they are in the park at least they aren’t on the streets.”