Attack on Cwmavon park keeper condemned by Neath Port Talbot Council.
A PARK keeper in the Afan Valley is recovering after he was beaten up during a confrontation with a gang of teenagers.
Police investigating the assault in Cwmavon's Parc Siencyn Powell are appealing for witnesses, while the attack has been condemned by a local councillor and a senior trade union official.
Council bosses have decided to close the park earlier than usual because of the incident.
The 38-year-old Neath Port Talbot Council worker was set on at around 2.30pm on Monday.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
A police spokesman said: "It is believed there was a group of young people in the park comprising five boys and two girls.
"Following an exchange of words between the victim and the group, one the boys approached the man and assaulted him.
"The victim later attended at Neath Port Talbot hospital where he was treated for minor cuts and bruises."
Council head of streetcare services Mike Roberts said: "Fortunately, the warden only sustained minor injuries and has returned to his duties.
"As a result of the incident Parc Siencyn Powell will be closed to the public earlier than normal. During the winter the park will now shut at 3.30pm instead of 5pm.
"Neath Port Talbot Council will not tolerate any verbal or physical attacks on our employees."
Cwmavon councillor Marian Lewis said she was disgusted.
"We have never had anything like this happen before," she added. "It's absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable.
"We will be keeping our ears to the ground to try to find out who they are."
Unison's Neath Port Talbot Council branch chairman Mark Fisher strongly condemned the attack.
"It doesn't matter whether the park keeper is a Unison member, nobody should treated like that when they are doing their jobs," he said.
"There are certain jobs within the council that carry a risk of threats and assaults. But it's a rarity in parks and gardens, and that is what makes this incident all the more serious.
"If the person involved is a Unison member we will provide him with our full support.
"Also, Neath Port Talbot Council has a zero tolerance policy and will support them in bringing cases to prosecution."
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.