Calls for warden as £4.5million plans revealed for Roker Park

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Multi-million pound improvements to a popular park could end up being wrecked by vandals if proper security is not put in place, some Echo readers fear.

Sunderland City Council have revealed plans for sweeping improvements to Sunderland's Roker Park as they await news on a £4.5million Heritage Lottery Fund bid for the project.

Read more: Revealed: How Roker Park could look if £4.5million revamp bid is successful

The plans, which include an ice cream parlour, cafe, and the restoration of many of the Victorian park's historic features including green spaces, the lake, the listed bandstand and the drinking fountain, have been met with approval.

Sheila Robson said on our Facebook page: "I have put Sunderland council down for a lot of years due to the lack of money spent along our seafront, and I for one used to take my children to South Shields rather than Seaburn, but it's lovely to see they are investing and the improvements so far is great. Well Done!"

Jean Wright said: "About time it's been neglected for years the house should also be brought back to its original state it's a shame it's been left and has fallen into disrepair."

Jennifer Anne Craggs said: "Fab news hope it goes ahead just what the park and families need."

But some fear the expensive improvements may by ruined by vandals if the council cannot afford proper security.

It comes after a row over plans to leave Barnes Park open all day and night to save £80,000 a year on the cash-strapped council's park warden service. Read more here.

Jodi Dowd said: "Great plans.....shame they couldn't keep the park warden at Barnes park though, ironic really!"

Jean Readshaw Canning said: "This would look lovely and lots of people would use it but why spend so much money on a park that has no park warden because of council cutbacks. The vandals would destroy everything."

Angela Thompson said: "Yeah great but will they maintain the park after it's finished. The council cannot afford the park warden at Barnes. This will make these parks unsafe for our children."

Graham Lovatt said: "Not wishing to align myself with or be one of the 'doom mongers' but I do hope money is also available for the on going costs and upkeep as quite a few Roker park 'schemes' have after a couple of years been abandoned."

Others had ideas for how the park could be improved.

Lisa Matthews said: "No play park renovations mentioned. Roker park must be the worst equipment ever. A stupid half a ship and a wooden block to climb. Surely this would be first on the list

Gary Thompson said: "They need to take a look at the riverside in Chester-le-Street. It's an AWSOME place for kids."

Karen Butler said: "Pity money can't be shared between parks, Back House park is a mess."

Mike Tansey said: "The council will access the funding then gain short term political capital telling us how well 'they've' done, then abandon it as they have just done to Barnes Park."