A MAN has been arrested in connection with an alleged assault on a park keeper in Cwmavon.
The incident took place in Parc Siencyn Powell where the victim, a Neath Port Talbot Council park worker, was allegedly beaten up at around 2.30pm on Monday, December 3.
The 38-year-old park keeper was taken to Neath Port Talbot Hospital where he was treated for minor cuts and bruises. The park will now be closed earlier than usual because of the incident.
Following an investigation by police in the Afan Valley, an 18-year-old has been arrested in connection with the incident and bailed.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: "An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the assault and has been released on police bail until January pending further enquires."
Cwmavon and Bryn councillor David Williams said he wanted to praise the police for their hard work.
"I am pleased to see the hard work the police have done on this," he said.
"I would like to thank them for their dedication."
Following the incident, the council's 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 horrified with the attack.
"We have never had anything like this happen before," she said. "It's absolutely appalling and totally unacceptable."
Unison's Neath Port Talbot Council branch chairman Mark Fisher said: "It doesn't matter whether the park keeper is a Unison member, nobody should be treated like that when they are doing their jobs.
"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."