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Parents blast health’n’safety ‘spoil sports’

Created on 01/09/2010 @ 12:22
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 Unhappy Guilsfield kids have lost their rope swingsGuilsfield parents have criticised health and safety ‘spoil sports’ after rope swings were chopped down at a popular community green, leaving the local kids ‘heartbroken’.
Chepstow Avenue has been an unofficial play ground for decades, with children playing on the home made swings on the council-owned green, but health and safety fears have given them the axe.
A recent complaint prompted Powys County Council to act immediately, with the branches they swung from also chopped. The action upset the local kids so much that they even considered standing in front of council vehicles to stop the workers taking action.
“It has left the kids heartbroken,” said one parent. “Our kids have been playing on these swings for years and apart from the odd bump and bruise there has never been a problem. We all understand that health and safety is paramount but sometimes things get taken a little too far.
Another mother added: “My kids ran in saying that the council was chopping down the trees that their swings were on and they would be willing to stand in front of their vans to stop them! They were very upset and the parents feel we should have been consulted first.”
Guilsfield Community Council said it was not consulted on the action taken and would have encouraged Powys County Council to look at an alternative course of action.
Mywelshpool inspected the work and saw that any branches less than six feet from the ground had been cut. One father said that it had stopped the children playing on the green and has driven them indoors this summer.
However, Powys County Council said it had reacted because the rope swings were on open land which it is responsible for and was identified as a risk because it did not conform to European legislation.
“Once it was identified as a risk, we had a duty to remove it,” said a spokesperson. “Failure to do so on our part after being told of the risk means we’re liable if anyone was injured while using the rope.”
Health n Safety gone mad? Here’s our top five …
-         Children banned from wearing studs at a football tournament
-         Lifeguards to fill in forms before a rescue
-         Local authority bans garden gnomes
-         Manual teaches police how to ride bike
-         School bans the dangerous sport of conkers!
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