'Worn out' park volunteer boss in angry attack on Doncaster Council after quitting

A volunteer who has spent 15 years looking after one of Doncaster’s most popular parks has launched a scathing attack on Doncaster Council after quitting – and says its future is at risk.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 10:33 am
Updated Monday, 20th January 2020, 3:01 pm

Sandra Crabtree has stepped down as chairman of Friends of Sandall Park, the volunteer group which looks after the popular visitor attraction and admitted her decision to quit was fuelled by Doncaster Council’s lack of spending.

In an angry tirade, Sandra, whose husband Don has also resigned, said the council has no long-term plan for the park.

She said: “It seems that voluntary groups are only expected to do litter picks and not involve themselves in strategic projects. We're worn out after 15 years of battling with them to provide a decent park.

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Sandra Crabtree has stepped down after 15 years looking after Sandall Park in frustration at Doncaster Council.

“Sandall Park is owned by the council after all - we’ve just been returning it to the family park it deserves to be.

“Since 1994, the council have removed the big boating lake, the children’s boating lake, golf course, children’s train, changing facilities, cricket pitch and putting green.

“The only things left are the cafe and toilets and they closed the toilets several times, only to be opened again by pressure from volunteers - who have maintained and serviced them for eight years.

“That is why the park’s future is in doubt. The only capital investment, other than a Government funded play area, has been as a result of projects instigated and funded through grants and donations acquired by FoSP.

“The group have worked tirelessly to rid the park of the crime and anti social behaviour that kept people away. The council do not have and have never had a plan for the park.”

Plans have been mooted to replace the current cafe with a glitzy new restaurant – but the scheme has stalled – and Sandra again blames the council.

“This new café won’t cost the council a penny. In fact, they’ll be gaining from it.

“We know what will happen to the park as it has been down the same road of lack of investment before - it is not a good ending. The answer is within the grasp of the council.”

We have contacted Doncaster Council for comment.