Page last updated at 11:51 GMT, Thursday, 27 August 2009 12:51 UK

Castle reopens after safety fears

Flint Castle
Cadw said youths were drinking on site and vandalising the castle

A castle closed to the public after staff were targeted by bottle-throwing vandals is to reopen.

Cadw, the assembly government's historic monuments agency, said workers at Flint Castle had also been spat on.

It previously said it had not been able to guarantee visitors' safety, but following a site inspection, it said the attraction will reopen on Thursday.

One councillor said Cadw had acted "out of proportion" and that those responsible were a "small minority".

In a statement on Thursday, Cadw said: "Following a detailed site inspection this morning, Cadw has made the decision to re-open Flint Castle to the public today.

"The Great Tower will remain closed for the time being due the amount of broken glass present.

"This area will require a thorough and deep clean. Daily opening between 10am and 4pm will resume today."

A Cadw spokesman said the organisation was seeking an "urgent" meeting with police following the decision to close the castle.

However, North Wales Police said they had known nothing of the plan to close, and it was the force that had sought a meeting with Cadw.

'Disappointed'

District Inspector Dave Roome said an initiative to to tackle anti-social behaviour was ongoing and had seen a fall in reported incidents in north Flintshire.

He added: "We were disappointed that we were not notified of the castle's closure.

"As a result of this we have arranged an urgent meeting with Cadw's management team to discuss the way forward."

The castle has been looked after as a public monument for the last 90 years.

Councillor Ian Roberts said he agreed there was "no way staff should have to put up with abuse," but said the closure was "way out of proportion" to the incident that occurred.

'Minority'

Mr Roberts called into question Cadw's stewardship of the castle, saying it was low down the body's list of priorities.

He said Cadw's handling of the situation might be seen as an "attack" on the local community and the vandals represented a "very small minority".

Anyone who witnesses anti-social behaviour at the site is asked to call 0845 6071001 (Welsh language) or 0845 6071002 (English).



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SEE ALSO
Castle shut after vandal attacks
26 Aug 09 |  North East Wales
Vandals 'threaten Vale heritage'
20 Aug 09 |  History
Ancient town castle to get CCTV
05 Aug 09 |  Mid Wales
Castle closed for urgent repairs
25 Sep 06 |  North East Wales
Drinks ban plan at castle
30 Aug 04 |  North East Wales

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