“Parks are critical”: Calls for Canton’s green spaces to open for longer

Residents in Canton are calling on Cardiff Council to open Victoria and Thompsons parks for a longer. 

Parks are amongst the few places the public can enjoy during lockdown and they are used by many people for their daily exercise. 

Complaints have been submitted to Cardiff Council regarding both parks being closed an hour too early. Resident say that there are times where the parks are closed as early as 3:40 in the afternoon. 

Laura Mc Allister is a mother who lives nearby, she is among others in Canton who are calling for the parks to be open for longer. 

She says, “Play grounds and all open spaces are absolutely critical at the moment. These are fantastic green spaces where children can let off some steam.” 

Many agreed with miss Mc Allister on social media saying that Victoria and Thompsons parks are being closed when it’s still day light. 

Guto Owen is another resident from Canton who uses Victoria park regularly. He says the early closure of the park is “frustrating” and by the time he finishes work the park is closed. This has meant that he now exercises on roads. 

Labour councillor Stephan Cunnah has sent an open e-mail to Cardiff council, asking them to assess the time of closure weekly as we are entering the spring. 

Opening in times in the past 

During the first lockdown last March, Victoria and Thompsons park were open thought the day and night. With the aim that the parks would not get crowded, and social distancing could be maintained when residents were out exercising. 

But several reports of anti-social behaviour meant that Cardiff Council decided that the parks should be shut 30 minutes before sunset. But many say the park closes much sooner. 

Councillor Stephan Cunnah said he understood how hard the park rangers are working, and the difficulties of closing parks later in the night. However, he  said that these park should be open to the people and children of Canton after a day of working and learning from home. 

Cardiff Council was approached for a comment.