Play Equipment in Crakehall to remain closed.

Following the recent announcement by the government, the Parish Council was looking forward to re-opening its play equipment on 4 July 2020, particularly the new equipment on The Green. However, the government subsequently produced guidance offering “practical advice on how these can be reopened and managed effectively to enable their use while minimising the transmission risk of COVID-19”. The guidance is available at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-playgrounds-and-outdoor-gyms/covid-19-guidance-for-managing-playgrounds-and-outdoor-gyms

The guidance included a requirement to “carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment”. It is made very clear that “Failure to complete a risk assessment which takes account of COVID-19, or completing a risk assessment but failing to put in place sufficient measures to manage the risk of COVID-19, could constitute a breach of health and safety law”. On that basis, the council undertook a Risk Assessment based on the Key Principles as set out in the guidance and assessed whether or not practical arrangements could be put in place in the context of the three open access Play Parks in Crakehall. A copy of the Risk Assessment is available at:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f85r6gRU5EfA_aF6vbVq_kXXZhYv38sq/view?usp=sharing

it is very clear from the Risk Assessment that the council cannot ensure that users will comply with the guidance produced by the government. On balance, the council considers that communication about the risks and self-regulation by users is insufficient to ensure public safety and may increase the risk (however marginal) of increasing transmission of the Coronavirus. The Play Equipment will remain closed but the situation will be reviewed regularly in light of any developments.

The council is aware that this decision will be disappointing for many children and young people and their parents but the health and well-being of all members of our community must come first. The council regrets that the government’s announcement will have raised expectations.

Crakehall with Langthorne Parish Council

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