Birstall Playing Fields, Sports Grounds and Play Areas

Questions are being asked about why the Parish Council's playing fields, sports grounds and play areas remain locked, when the Government has recently announced that parks should remain open to the public.

This advice is aimed at those local authorities who manage public open spaces and parks such as Watermead Country Park, Abbey Park, Bradgate Park, etc.

The playing fields, sports grounds and play areas in Birstall are all owned by Birstall Parish Council. They are not parks or open spaces that the public have a right to use but is private land that the public are permitted to use.

Whilst these areas remain closed to the public, they are still being maintained and looked after by the staff. The staff have been instructed not to carry out inspections of the play equipment or the outdoor gym equipment and the reason for this is that some members of the public are ignoring the notices and the locked gates and are still entering these areas. They are using the play equipment and the outdoor gym equipment and because it is thought that the virus can remain on metal and other hard surfaces for up to 3-4 days, this poses a risk to other users and the staff who are carrying out the maintenance work. These areas will not be opened to the public until a decision is issued by the Government and the Parish Council have been able to carry out their Health & Safety inspections.

There is a link below that shows the piece of Government legislation that the Parish Council are relying upon to be able to keep their playing fields, sports grounds and play areas locked until the Government announce otherwise.

Section 1 - Outdoor Recreation

Playgrounds, sports courts and pitches, and outdoor gyms or similar

These businesses and venues must close as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chance of the infection spreading.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close/further-businesses-and-premises-to-close-guidance

Posted: Fri, 08 May 2020 09:06 by Sue Coulson

Tags: Coronavirus, Health & Safety, Play Equipment