THERE are calls to close an East Oxford park at night again after complaints of noise, antisocial behaviour and drug use.

Councillor David Henwood is leading efforts to have Florence Park’s gates locked overnight.

He said: “The council did a consultation in 2016 which was overwhelmingly in favour of closing the parks at night.

"We would like to see community keys distributed to local groups who are willing to open and close the park on a voluntary basis.”

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He added: “The locks on the toilets could also be RADAR Key compliant locks which would give access to disabled people.”

The independent city councillor pointed to Oxford City Council’s management plan for Florence Park covering 2018-2022.

It mentions the 2016 consultation and the park is to be closed at dusk or 9pm, whichever is earliest.

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David Henwood

Mr Henwood also posted an online poll last week on asking residents to give their opinion on whether the gates should be locked again.

As of Thursday, 450 people had responded with 82 per cent (368) responding that they would like the Florence Park entrance closed at night.

A resident who lives next door to Florence Park posted on website Next Door, a localised social network, that since the park had been kept open during the night she had have noticed ‘drug abuse, loud screams and most importantly noise during every night up to morning hours not just during the weekends’.

She also mentioned a recent spate of break ins on nearby Campbell Road, and that having the ‘pitch black’ park open during the night did not ‘add safety’ to the neighbourhood.

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She added: “This park is simply not designed to be accessible to public during the night. There are no lamps, no police patrols.”

A city council spokesperson said: “Florence Park was the only one of the city council’s parks that, prior to the coronavirus crisis, was locked at night.

" A reduction in available staff during lockdown meant that locking the park every night became impossible."

They added: "The city council has not received reports of serious issues in Florence Park.

"However, we will continue to monitor the situation and we ask that if anyone witnesses anti-social behaviour in the park to report it to the police or to council’s Antisocial Behaviour Investigation Team on 01865 249811 or by email at"