Play areas in Arun have been closed for some time now, in line with the Government’s coronavirus guidance.
The Government has now announced that outdoor play areas can reopen from July 4, ‘where safe to do so’.
When lock down began, approximately 80 Arun District Council play areas closed, with grass deliberately left uncut to discourage use. Sites were locked via a combination of cable ties and padlocks, as well as signage.
The council will start a programme of phased reopening from first thing on Saturday, July 4. This will begin with ‘destination’ play areas (as identified in the Play Strategy) including; West Park (Aldwick) Hotham Park (Bognor Regis) and Play on the Beach (Bognor Regis).
The district council will reopen other play areas on a phased basis from Monday, July 6.
A spokesman for the council sakd: “This is a big job and we thank you in advance for your patience while we do this and ask you to respect the closures until sites are formally reopened.”
The council’s contractors, Tivoli will be cutting the grass in play areas in preparation, however this doesn’t mean sites will be open once cut.
Cllr Samantha Staniforth, cabinet member for neighbourhood services said: “I would like a to say a big thank you to all the children in our district who have been abiding by the rules put in place to keep everyone safe and not using our playgrounds for the past few months.
“I know this has been hard and I am sure you are very excited to hear they will be re-opening soon.
“My thanks also go to the parents and families who have had to manage energy levels of children over the past three months – as a mum of four, I know how hard that has been.
“As we begin reopening our play areas we will carry out formal safety inspections so that we can confidently remove locks/cable ties and signage at the appropriate time. Please bear with us, we know you are keen to go and play and we will be working through the various sites as quickly as we are able.
“We will be adding new signage to re-opened sites, and we would ask all parents/carers to please read and take note of these signs. Please use hand sanitisers before and after using the play equipment to keep everybody safe so we can all enjoy the area.
“Should anyone be showing symptoms, please do not use the playgrounds and follow Government guidance for self-isolating and reporting procedures.
“Social distancing of course remains in place, which we understand can be hard with little ones, but let’s all just try to enjoy the playgrounds being back open and stay safe. I hope you all have a great time playing.”
There will be changes to the play areas and how they are used. And new rules are in place including;
- Limit your time using the facility to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to use it safely.
- Monitor and take responsibility for your children at all times
- Do not overcrowd play equipment
- Consider taking wipes to clean/sanitise equipment and touch points
- Take your litter home with you
- Avoid eating and drinking in play areas