Following recent Government guidance, Cheshire East Council is working to ensure the safe reopening of its play areas and outdoor gyms.
The guidance being followed is complex and involves risk assessments of all play areas so that visitors are protected as much as possible. The council has more than 150 play area facilities and each one brings slightly different challenges in ensuring they can reopen safely, it’s not a straight forward or quick thing to do.
Cheshire East Council is working with Ansa, its wholly-owned environment services company, and its parks team to do all they can to ensure users of the play areas and outdoor gym equipment will be as safe as possible against the risk of the coronavirus by adhering to all the necessary prevention and protection measures.
Due to the scale of the task and the time needed to carry out thorough risk assessments, the council will reopen facilities on a phased basis. The aim is to reopen the larger facilities first, but this will be dependent on whether the appropriate measures can be put in place.
Play areas and outdoor gym equipment at the following places will re-open from Monday 6 July:
· Adlington Road, Bollington Recreation Ground, Bollington
· Alderley Park, Ryleys Lane, Alderley
· Barony Park, Barony Road, Nantwich
· Boddingtons play area, The Carrs, Chancel Road, Wilmslow
· Congleton Park, Park Road, Congleton
· Fountains Field, Middlewich
· Meriton Road Park, Meriton Road, Handforth
· Milton Park, Crewe Road, Alsager
· Queens Park, Victoria Avenue, Crewe
· Sandbach Park, The Commons, Sandbach
· South Park, Macclesfield
· The Moor, Moorside, Knutsford
· Victoria Park, York Street, Macclesfield
· West Park, Prestbury Road, Macclesfield
· Westminster Street, Crewe
Other facilities will re-open as soon as possible.
Councillor Laura Crane, Cheshire East Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for green space, said: “I know that many children across the borough have greatly missed using our play areas, especially in the nice weather that we’ve had recently. These thoughts are echoed by the many residents who have been keen to further their fitness routine in our outdoor gym areas.
“I’d like to thank everyone for adhering to government advice and for respecting the closures that we had to put in place.
“The news that we are able to start re-opening our facilities was very welcomed but I urge residents to be patient as we work hard to risk assess all the areas and to take the appropriate action that is required to make areas as safe as possible for all. It is not simply a case of reopening gates and taking down closed signs”
“Our parks teams are working through the many new measures needed, in light of the current Coronavirus pandemic. Users of the facilities will be reminded of the need to keep a distance from other users and parents should take responsibility for their children and ensure they play apart from others, are respectful of queues for play equipment and play considerately, by not hogging equipment that others are waiting for.
“Food will not be allowed in or around the play areas and all users, including children, will need to remember to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser after using the equipment. It is important that users follow our guidance and use the areas responsibly, so everyone can enjoy them.
“The phased approached that we are taking means that the first date that some of our facilities will be ready is Monday 6 July. This date is slightly later than the provisional date given by the government.
“We understand that this may be frustrating to some residents, but I would urge everyone to have patience and only use our facilities when we have assessed them, and they are as safe as possible to do so.”
Information about the phased re-opening of the facilities on the council’s website https://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/leisure,_culture_and_tourism/parks_and_gardens/parks_and_gardens.aspx on the Council’s website.
Information and reminders about the re-opening will feature on Cheshire East Council’s social media pages. Please follow @CheshireEastCouncil on Facebook and @CheshireEast on Twitter to keep up-to-date