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Town Council playgrounds remain shut

Newbury Town Council has faced a backlash after announcing that none of its playgrounds would be reopening at this time.

The Town Council revealed on Friday that it doesn't 'have the resources' to make sure the 14 playgrounds it is responsible for are safe.

The statement read: "Newbury Town Council have carried out a Risk assessment required under the COVID-19 Government Guidance for managing playgrounds and has concluded that the Council are not able, at this time, to comply with all of the requirements. In particular, the recommendation in Section 4, ‘Key principles for safely re-opening’.

"This Council therefore would like to state that the 14 play parks that it is responsible for continue to be a risk for the spread of the Coronavirus by contact. We do not have the resources to reasonably mitigate some of the risks present and are recommending that play equipment that has not been sanitised and cleaned should not be used."

Among the playgrounds the Town Council manages are, City Recreation Ground, Victoria Park and Cresswell Road.

Commenting on the announcement, Rachel Ann said: "This is outrageous and you obviously do not care about the mental health and development of young children! HOW can pubs and betting shops be a higher priority?! Young children and their families have not had access to any community facilities since lockdown began: don't you think we've suffered enough?!"

Rebecca Fraser added: "What a shame for all the kids desperate to play, feels unfair surely we can just give them some hand sanitiser before they go on the equipment?"

Although Karen Pearce responded: "Well as much as it’s important for children to be getting exercise and having fun. The thought of all the germs anyway on everything in a public park. Can’t guarantee every child will have hand sanitiser. You can’t stop kids touching things then touching their face. I’m guessing for now it’s a safer option to keep them closed. As sad as that may be."

To view playgrounds managed by Newbury Town Council click here.

For those managed by West Berkshire Council click here.

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