The gates to the tennis courts at St Mark's Park will be welded shut after the parish council criticised the people still using them.

A Central Swindon North Parish Council spokesman said: "Despite repeated requests, families are still playing tennis in St Mark's Park today.

"The gates will be welded shut and we will consider further steps on restricting access to the parkland.

"A waste of precept payers' money and a reckless selfish act. GO HOME."

Parish clerk Andy Reeves speaks out

By dawn we had issued guidance notices across the parks updating residents of the rules on using the park in line with the PMs instructions.  We had hoped this would be sufficient.

However we received a number of complaints to us and the MP’s office of people using the play equipment and Tennis Facilities in a steady stream from around 10am.

Sadly, some signs were removed and ignored; by lunchtime the park was as busy as on any warm Spring Day.

We recognise the benefits of providing green space in a densely populated urban area, and residents should be able to take their dog for a walk or use the park for their legitimate once a day walk/jog. 

Sadly, the tennis court gates will now be welded shut for the foreseeable future and the play area physically cordoned off with fencing.  We have also requested that the Police Sector Inspector considers additional patrols of the area.

These are draconian measures we are frankly astonished have to be implemented.  The actions of those at the park today were selfish and reckless, they put our staff at additional risk and have wasted parish precept payers money on avoidable security.

We will continue to review access to the parkland itself but as it stands this will remain open.