Roundwood Park tap removed after children use it to fill balloons

Burst water main in Welwyn

A stock image of a water tap - Credit: Archant

A park tap has been removed by the council after children were using it to fill up water balloons.

The stand pipe in Brent’s Roundwood Park was taken down after it was used for a water fight, though the council said it has also been subject to “repeated acts of vandalism”.

There have been calls for the pipe to be reinstalled as it is used by people to cool down in the summer months and by dog walkers.

A petition launched by local resident Nicola O’Brien, who uses the park daily, said the water source should not have been removed over such a small thing. 

It reads: “The wider need for a source of water is far greater than the inconvenience presented by one incident of children using it to fill up water balloons.

“The council’s decision to remove a stand pipe which is relied upon and frequently utilised by both the council (to maintain the green spaces) and the public (to keep safe in the heat) due to a minor incident with children where nobody was hurt is not a proportionate response.”

Nicola said the council’s park staff should deal with such incidents separately rather than “penalise everyone else”. 

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She added it is “not acceptable” to suggest people should use the nearby cafe to buy water if they need it. 

She also questioned claims it was not meant for public use as it is “right on the path by the gate” and park staff have seen people using it in the past without raising any issues. 

Environment lead councillor Krupa Sheth said: “There have been a number of acts of vandalism – every time we’ve made a repair it’s been broken again. 

“The parks service is going through a lot of cost pressures at the moment, which has been the case for the past ten years. 

“The pipe was never intended to be used by the public. We encourage people to bring their own water bottles and drinks.”

She added the council is looking to see if it can afford to revitalise the Victorian fountain in the park as a potential water source for the public.

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