Playtime over as swings and slide are too dangerous

Parents and children have launched an SOS - Save Our Swings - appeal.

Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 9:46 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th June 2021, 9:48 am
Darcy McNab holds a protest sign whilst Jacques Chamberlain and Evie Lilley ride the swings which are to be pulled down.

Housing association Jigsaw Homes says the swings and slide set is damaged and potentially dangerous and has to come down.

Parents argue it has been there for years and is regularly enjoyed by youngsters.

The three small swings and a small slide are on a piece of open grassed land at Rothwell Road, Anderton.

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Youngsters enjoy the play equipment

Parents and children stuck leaflets with slogans calling for the play equipment to be saved. Campaigner Leanne Romney, 50, of Rothwell Road, said: “They were built and maintained by local residents. They’ve never been any problem.

“They’re well used on a daily basis by children.

“You don’t get teenagers hanging around.” She said the equipment was conveniently close to the children’s homes and that taking it away could put children’s safety in jeopardy.

“They’re in a safe environment. They don’t have to cross a busy road to get to council provided play equipment.

Children hold up protest slogans

“The community of the street watches out for them.”

Leanne added: “At the moment when everyone is going on about improving the mental health of children, outside play equipment is recognised as so important to children.

“We’re still in a very difficult situation as regards Covid and many of these children won’t get a holiday or day out this year because of family financial restraints.

“And the school holidays are coming up. They should at least postpone it until after the summer holidays.”

Jigsaw said one of its gardeners discovered the equipment appeared to have “significant damage” and it was cordoned off.

Gary Heaton, operations director of asset management, said: “The last thing we want to do is take enjoyment and fun away from children but when we saw how damaged the swings and slide set is, we had to take action to stop any children from getting hurt or injured.

“We know this is disappointing, but unfortunately the set is just not structurally safe. The tree it has been nailed to now seems to be showing signs of being lifted, which is a significant health and safety risk and potentially dangerous.

“We are meeting with local councillors and residents to explain this and to talk through suitable options for the space that would benefit the whole community.

“Jigsaw Homes have a number of funding options that residents can apply for and we would be more than happy to support them with an application which means they can create a suitable resource here.”