COVID-19 Update about Playgrounds

Please find below an update i have just received on re-opening of Playgrounds:

“Previous member updates regarding the reopening of playgrounds provided details on the challenges faced by the government’s guidance on this matter given the scale of provision in Leeds.

In addition, members were updated on phase 1 of re-opening where a limited of number of sites were opened from the 23rd July.

Following work with colleagues in public health, environmental health, health and safety and civic enterprise Leeds we can now update members on phase 2 of reopening.

Plans have now been developed to reopen another 90 or so playgrounds across Leeds as part of phase 2 with the opening programme starting on Monday 24th August aiming to be completed by Friday 28th August.

Phase 2 will include all community parks with a play area, at least two playgrounds in each ward where there are more than one available to open and then a range of other sites where there are more limited access to gardens.

As with previous phases, signage will be put in place to remind users about social distancing, hygiene, not eating food or drink and limiting numbers on relevant pieces of equipment.  If the playground or equipment is busy then people are also asked to be patient to enable social distancing, however it is important to note that the playgrounds and equipment will not be supervised so this will rely on people acting responsibly.

Please also be aware that in some cases it will be necessary to implement additional social distancing measures so, for example, we may need to remove some swing seats or other equipment in some playgrounds.

We are also preparing a range of digital communications that will be available for distribution next week via social media that will promote key messages and support the safe use of play facilities by local communities.

In regard to specific sites, ward members will be emailed separately to this communication advising on which sites we propose to reopen in their respective wards. Whilst there is no capacity to open additional sites in phase 2, officers are happy to consider alternative proposals from ward members should they so wish, although any swaps will need to be subject to assessing site specific issues and risks.

Once phase 2 has been completed, we will then move to phase 3 which will include plans to reopen all remaining playgrounds.

I hope this is useful. Thank you to all the officers involved in the very detailed work to make this happen.”

Further to the above message I have now received the following update, but if there are any others in the ward you want to know about let me know:

“In line with your recent members update in regard to the reopening of some of our playgrounds across the city. Our work programme will commence on Monday 24th August and we aim to have this completed by Friday 28th August.

Listed below are the playgrounds that we are proposing to re-open within your Ward as follows:

  • Holt Park – Holt Drive, LS16 7QE
  • Cookridge Lane Playground  – Hall Lane, LS17 7NJ

Whilst there is no capacity to open additional sites at this stage, we are happy to consider alternative proposals from ward members, although any swaps will need to be subject to assessing site specific issues and risks.

We will also be promoting key messages to support the safe use of our play facilities by local communities via social media and signage.

If the playground or equipment is busy, then we are asking local communities to be patient to enable social distancing, however it is important to note that the playgrounds and equipment will not be supervised and that this will rely on people acting responsibly.

In some cases it will be necessary to implement additional social distancing measures so, for example, we may need to remove some swing seats or other equipment in some of our playgrounds.”