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Some Spalding area playgrounds opening

Several play areas in our area have reopened but, for some, there are safety concerns standing in the way of play time.

Following the Government’s announcement that play areas could open from July 4, parish councils worked to assess the risks of children using equipment.

While some were able to negate the risks involved, others were more cautious and ruled out reopening for the time being.

Play equipment has reopened at Carter's Park in Holbeach.
Play equipment has reopened at Carter's Park in Holbeach.

Gosberton Parish Council made the decision to keep the play areas at Walker Memorial Park and Gedney Dyke shut in an extraordinary meeting earlier this month, as they would be unable to implement a number of safety measures required according to government guidance.

But during their scheduled virtual meeting on Tuesday, councillors were disheartened to hear that tape sealing off equipment had been ripped off, less than 24 hours after it had been put in place by clerk Jane Ripley.

Chairman Rosemary Rollings said: “Today, I took the dog for a walk and while I was out a lady phoned my husband, who had contacted us before and was very upset about the play areas. My husband explained where I was and she drove down and found me.

“She was a very nice lady and completely understanding, but was very upset because she has a son who is autistic and she’d been to pick her other child up from school and had seen nine children on the slide at Walker Memorial Park.

“The little boy was crying because he couldn’t go on the slide and he couldn’t understand why others were on it.

“I went into the car park and tackled the mothers about the children being on the slide and they just shouted at them to come off and said ‘we’re going’, but Jane had taped everything up yesterday, of course now the slide is completely untaped, the roundabout in the play area is untaped too.

Coun Rollings said that she would attend again early the following morning to re-tape the equipment.

Councillors discussed other options for trying to stop people from using the play equipment but were unsure of the most effective option.

Coun Laurence Marchant added: “These people are going to go down there every day and rip tape off every day. We know what they’re like. We’ve done what we can do but we can’t police it.

“If you go down and retape it, that means you’re going to have to go down there once or twice a day.”

It was decided that extra signage around the park would be the most sensible idea.

  • Play areas in South Holland that are now open again are: Churchgate, Whaplode; Moulton Seas End; Flinders Park, Donington; Carter’s Park, Holbeach; Gosberton Playing Field and Weston Playing Field.
  • It is hoped that the play area and gym equipment at Memorial Park in Sutton Bridge will open this week.
  • South Holland District Council is also aiming to reopen its play areas by the end of this week.

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