IT was a lovely day, so I decided to go for a walk in Darlington’s North Lodge Park with my little dog. I thought it would be nice to try and recapture memories of when I took my small children there every day in the summer.

First stop, the putting green and what a shock. In front of the first seat were large holes, so there was nowhere to put your feet if you sat. No flowers in the ornamental fountain – only weeds.

There were milk cartons, cardboard, paper and endless cigarette ends etc.

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I walked up the broken glass path to the next seat, more holes, hypodermic needles, dozens of metal bottle tops etc. – another seat unable to be used for its purpose to sit on!

Large broken branches were strewn all over the grass, which was also unkempt.

I have many photographs of my children playing there – not a scrap of rubbish to be seen, no cigarette ends, not even a matchstick – it was spotless.

I decided to come out, walked along many potholes, and found a picnic table and seats that had been used and everything left on the grass – plastic cups, bottles, tin cans, paper etc. What a mess!

Such happy memories I’d hoped to recapture, but sadly it was not to be.

Surely the council could afford some paving in front of the seats and then maybe they could be used for what they were put there for in the first place – to sit on.

As for flowers in the ornamental fountain, I’m sure they have many left over, so many roundabouts have no flowers in them now.

What a shame.

Elizabeth Richards, Darlington

I WOULD like to express my opinion as to the state of the streets, parks and roads of Darlington on behalf of local council tax payers.

Why are we paying such excessive council tax?

Some parks are unfit for use as recreation facilities due to the amount of rubbish.

The streets, parks etc. are in an unacceptable condition and even the grass verges are being left to overgrow along with the weeds.

There may be a need for cutbacks but not to the detriment of the town streets and parks.

Darlington Borough Council may feel the need to build a park area behind the town hall, which is costing hundreds of thousands of pounds, but what is the point when it cannot maintain the parks we already have?

I suggest the cutbacks need to be made in the town hall itself where there is a culture of excessive wages, allowances, gold-plated pension pots and redundancy payments which are being paid to top officials.

And some of them only work part-time (why?).

Stan Wilby, Darlington