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Venetian waterways volunteer's security fears after tent spotted on site

PUBLISHED: 15:24 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 30 August 2019

The restored Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake Picture: Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

The restored Venetian Waterways and Boating Lake Picture: Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

Archant

A volunteer who helped bring Great Yarmouth's Venetian Waterways back to life has expressed concern that a lack of security could see the site get run down.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Ella WilkinsonCouncillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council. Picture: Ella Wilkinson

The historic site has proven to be a big hit with visitors since reopening this summer, with a grand reopening taking place on August 20.

Dave Hubble helped with the £2.7m restoration as part of the Model Boat Club, with the club putting in some 550 hours of work.

But Mr Hubble, the club's secretary, said he was disappointed to spot that a tent had been put up on the Waterways site at around 10am on Wednesday, August 28.

He said: "I've never seen a tent there before. The club has spent many man hours doing the bridges and weeding and all sorts, and to see someone camping there it was unusual.

"It's a Grade II listed site and you've got people camping on it."

Mr Hubble said the security on site was not adequate and called for improvements to be made.

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He said: "It's been mentioned quite a few times. When the public talk to us they ask what can be done by security. Security on that site would cost a lot of money, even a night watch going around."

Mr Hubble added that the site needed more than the one camera it currently has.

"Maybe a volunteer watch scheme as they have in Gorleston would work. As even with cameras you have to pay someone to sit and watch it 24 hours," he said.

A spokesperson for Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "We've investigated an unconfirmed report of someone having camped around the northern end of Great Yarmouth seafront but, upon visiting this week, have not found anyone camping in the area."

Carl Smith, council leader, said the authority condemns anyone who does anything to spoil the park.

Mr Smith said: "The waterways is a priority area for neighbourhood policing, and the council's environmental rangers also undertake regular patrols there.

"While there is a strong on-site presence throughout the day from the two Waterways gardeners and apprentice, plus the café staff, it is a large public park that's always open for the benefit of the community.

"The waterways is a community park, by the community for the community, and therefore the whole community needs to play its part in keeping it looking nice."

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