Lighting upgrade proposal for Dane Park

Dane Park

Officers from Thanet and Kent councils, police, bowls club members, residents and a ward councillor have taken part in a safety assessment walk at Dane Park.

The ‘information gathering walk’ was arranged following concerns about broken lighting at the park raised after a reported attack on a schoolgirl.

Thanet councillor David Wallin says there are now proposals to improve district council owned lights at the park with a change to LED and lighting throughout the night rather than set hours.

In 2020 then-ward councillor Gary Taylor urged police and the Thanet Community Safety Partnership to take action following a string of assaults, fires, vandalism and issues with Traveller encampments at the park.

Cllr Wallin, who attended the walk, and fellow ward councillor Ruth Duckworth, raised the lighting issue last year and the site visit took place on Wednesday (January 11).

The group spoke to people in the park and walked from the water fountain and around the bowls club.

Cllr Wallin said: “More of the lights were working than I think I can remember ever seeing, but there were still a few out and we also saw some dark and unlit areas in the park.

“Upgrading of the TDC owned and operated lights so that they are all LED -so brighter, longer-life and cheaper to run – is something that is now on the cards and I hope this will be done soon.

“Also, these lights will be on all night, rather than turning off for a few hours. For additional lights, areas that might benefit from these were located., one being the part where the old pond was, near to the fountain, where I suggested that when the water fountain comes back to life, that maybe this should be floodlit. This would make it more of a feature, whilst additionally lighting up a dark part of the park.

“I also stressed that fallen leaves covering the paths can become a death-trap when wet, as they become slippery and could even cover ice underneath them.”

Last month Thanet council said the small number of TDC lights had been inspected and replacement lamps would be installed during December and January.

A follow-up meeting is now being arranged to take place at the Dane Park Bowls Club in the coming weeks.