Banbury to re-open play areas across town with new safety recommendations

Banbury’s play areas will start re-opening on Saturday July 4 after the easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions which were announced by the government last week.
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But because of the work involved, the openings will be phased over a number of days.

People’s Park and Spiceball Park will be the first to open and others will follow.

The work involves checking that the equipment is in good order and erecting signs to ensure the safety of users.

The opening of Howard Road play area on March 19. The area was closed a few days later because of Covid-19. (photo from Banbury Town Council)The opening of Howard Road play area on March 19. The area was closed a few days later because of Covid-19. (photo from Banbury Town Council)
The opening of Howard Road play area on March 19. The area was closed a few days later because of Covid-19. (photo from Banbury Town Council)

Parents, guardians and carers must be aware of the new government guidelines that now apply to all play areas and realise that coronavirus safety is also in their hands.

Banbury Town Council owns and manages the town’s 74 play areas.

The council is unable to monitor or clean all play areas on a frequent basis and is asking parents to take on the responsibility by social distancing, washing hands regularly, and wiping equipment before use.

Cllr Colin Clarke, chairman of the council’s general services committee, said: “Social distancing and cleansing are the key factors. But with so many play areas it is impossible for the council to oversee all of them all of the time. People must act responsibly.

“We are asking people to adhere to social distancing by not overcrowding the play areas. We’re saying that if a play area looks busy, go back later.

“Users will have to take their own cleansing and sanitising products and make sure children’s hands are clean and that the equipment is safe.

"The council can’t have someone on hand to clean every piece of equipment after a child has touched it – but parents can give it a wipe over before use.”

Cllr Clarke added: “I urge everyone to read the signs before using the play equipment and obey the instructions to make sure everyone is safe.

“The government guidelines make it clear that play area councils can only do what is reasonably practical to minimise the risk of catching coronavirus, and that it is impossible to eliminate the risk completely.

“The guidelines point out that people use play areas at their own risk.”

The public tennis courts in People’s Park will also open on the 4th.

The play areas and tennis courts have been officially closed since mid-March because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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