#childsafety | Whitmore play area shut over Covid insurance payout fears

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Many play areas have now reopened across England after the latest easing of government rules

A playground will remain closed, despite lockdown rules being relaxed, over fears of a costly insurance payout if a child were to catch coronavirus.

Whitmore Parish Council in Staffordshire said it had “reluctantly” made the decision after advice from its insurers.

Officials said they “cannot guarantee the safety of users” but would review the situation next month.

Residents said they faced a 30-minute drive to reach alternative facilities.

Many play areas have now reopened across England after the latest easing of government rules during the Covid-19 outbreak.

But the site near Baldwins Gate Village Hall remains chained shut by the parish council, the BBC’s Local Democracy Service reports.

Complaints made to the council included one from a mother-of-three who said parents had not been given “a satisfactory reason other than it’s an insurance issue”, adding that parents “were responsible enough to keep our children safe”.

“They should not be putting huge chains and padlocks on parks for young children,” she said.

“Parks are open everywhere else and we have to drive about 30 minutes or five or six miles to Madeley or Newcastle.”

Whitmore Parish Council said it understood the frustration, but was keeping the situation under review and the next assessment would be on 5 August.

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