Fountain turned off to save water as council cuts down its usage

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A FOUNTAIN in an Aldwick beauty spot has become a victim of the lack of rain.

Arun District Council has switched off the water feature at the green space on Marine Drive West to save supplies.

The decision was made though the area is served by Portsmouth Water and does not have a hosepipe ban unlike the eastern half of the district.

A council spokeswoman said: “Due to the current drought conditions, the district council is not running any of the fountains within the district, including the one in Marine Park Gardens.

“Although the hosepipe ban does not directly affect Aldwick at present, this is considered to be the most conscientious thing to do.

“The fountain constantly loses water in the wind when it is running, needs cleaning regularly, and needs draining due to debris being thrown in and clogging it up, which requires large amounts of water.

“The situation will, however, be assessed as updates about the drought are received.”

David Garforth, the chairman of the Friends of Marine Park Gardens, said: “I would say the council are doing this as a PR stunt more than anything because there are no water restrictions in this area.

“I don’t think it’s really necessary because we are not short of water.

“But I do see we might have visitors from areas which do have hosepipe bans and they would think it was a waste of water to see the fountain working.”

The fountain was a popular feature of the gardens. “Young children often play in the fountain in the summer, which we don’t object to, and you see them and their mothers watching them,” he said.

But the constant threat of vandalism meant the ornate statue for the middle had to be kept in storage.

He said: “People want the fountain but, unfortunately, it’s not the feature it used to be because of that problem.”

The gardens date from the 1930s and won their first Green Flag last year to earn a place among the country’s best.