Council considers charging a fee for courts after vandalism

PUBLISHED: 18:00 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:17 31 October 2019

Cllr Jane Geldart raising concerns about anti-social behaviour at the Salthouse Field tennis courts in Clevedon.    Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Cllr Jane Geldart raising concerns about anti-social behaviour at the Salthouse Field tennis courts in Clevedon. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Clevedon Town Council is urging members of the public to respect the town's tennis courts after reports of antisocial behaviour.

The courts, on the seafront, have been targetted by vandals over the past few weeks, according to the council.

People have damaged the courts' surfaces by riding bikes and scooters and performing stunts.

Portable barbecues have been set alight on the surface, causing damage, and the nets have been broken or stretched as a result of people standing or sitting on them.

The council has since placed signs around the court to encourage people to treat the facility with respect.

The signs also remind people what they can and cannot do in the courts.

But Cllr Jane Geldart said it may have to consider placing locks and charging people to use the facility in order to stop antisocial behaviour.

She said: "It is so disappointing the courts are being treated this way.

"We suspect it is being done by younger members of society.

"The last thing we want to do is lock the court in any way,
shape or form but this has to 
stop.

"We want them open for the public because a lot of people do use them in Clevedon and people come from Nailsea and Portishead to use them.

"But it cannot continue like this, with people riding their bikes, using portable 
barbecues or playing football on the courts."

The tennis courts have been leased to Clevedon Town Council since 2013.

The authority has since refurbished the courts and installed new sturdy, metal fencing and replaced the surface of the courts.

Members of the public have free and open access to the courts and the council is frustrated the community facility is being vandalised.

Cllr Geldart added: "We were so proud of the work we did to the courts and we spent a lot of money trying to get them to be the way they are, they are a fantastic resource.

"It's also a way of promoting Clevedon because other places don't have this type of facility.

"We just want the courts to be treated with respect and for this to stop."

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