Staff and customer concern over vandalism at East Park pavilion
VISITORS and staff in East Park have reached the end of their tether as youths continue to throw dirt at the café windows.
Youngsters have been sneaking into the park at night and pushing over temporary barriers surrounding six empty water features.
Staff found they have climbed into the ponds and thrown mud at the pavilion.
The attractions have not been working for years, despite being paid for by Lottery funding, and customers say the barriers are unsightly and ruin the beauty of the east Hull park.
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Margo Robertson, who volunteers in the park café, said: "Kids have pushed over the barriers a few times now and we've had negative comments from customers.
"The park staff are fantastic and always clean the windows, but it's been going on all summer.
"People ask what is going to be done about the barriers.
"They are there to stop children falling in but they're quite wobbly and end up being thrown in and then kids throw things at the windows."
Margo, who works at the café with her husband Alan, said the pond area has a lot of potential and could be turned into an outdoor seating area.
She said: "We also need a bigger play area. It would be nice if they could be used for mums to sit and chat while their babies play.
"I would also like a healthy eating area to sell jacket potatoes and smoothies outside.
"There's so much which could be done with the café but the water features are being redesigned and they have to be kept. It's been like this for about five years, so we have no idea when anything is going to be done.
"Everyone works extremely hard to keep it clean but it seems barmy to have water features because the water stagnates when there isn't a filter and we have to keep emptying them out.
"They only worked for a few months and there hasn't been water in them since."
Claire Perrin, 40, and Martin Dalby, 44, meet in the park with their dogs most days and say they feel sorry for the staff. Claire said: "We see them cleaning the windows all the time after they've been covered in dirt and it's a real shame.
"The barriers still look quite dangerous and somebody needs to do something about the water features.
"It's such a beautiful park and a lovely café but they spoil it.
"In the summer, it's absolutely packed outside and people struggle to find seating, so it would be fantastic to have outdoor benches and maybe even umbrellas."
Martin said he thought it was "awful" that youngsters felt the need to throw the barriers and vandalise the area at night.
He said: "We've been using the park for a long time and for visitors it would be a nicer place to be if people had more respect for it and it was used to its full potential."
A spokeswoman for Hull City Council confirmed work will start in the new year to improve the area.
She said: "There's going to be some development outside, with granite laid around the ponds and outdoor seating put in.
"We understand the concerns of the visitors and staff and we're doing all we can to make sure the work goes ahead.
"There will also be vegetation and a filtration system installed."