A COUNCIL-OWNED field plagued by problems with yobs will only be fenced off if someone else is prepared to play for it.

Castle Point Council is holding up plans to fencing King George Playing Field, in Blackthorne Road, Canvey, until money can be found to pay for it.

The plan was first mooted in the summer of 2008, when residents living nearby complained of noisy youths gathering on the field late at night, drinking, taking drugs and doing damage.

Officials drew up a £42,800 plan to fence the area, with provision to pay £25,000 a year for someone to maintain the field and lock and unlock it each day.

Tony Belford, councillor responsible for community safety has been pushing to get the fence put up, thinks the council should get the fence up and then worry about who would lock and unlock it.

He said: “We would look foolish if we didn’t put the fence in and in three or four months time we get the whole thing back again.

“We need to put the fence in to give residents peace of mind and should the need arise, we can lock the gates.”

But Jeffrey Stanley, councillor responsible for finance, warned: “The council might find 10 per cent of its income taken away by Government.

“We can’t spend all this money fencing off a park.”

Senior councillors were told the local crime and disorder reduction partnership had offered a one-off £10,000 payment towards the fencing.

The council also plans to ask Canvey Town Council to contribute, but has made it clear the fence would only go up if outside funding can be found.