I am sure you will have noticed that the new adventure playground is taking shape on the Green. Unfortunately, our contractor has been impacted by Covid restrictions and difficulties with his scheduling and resources, therefore the work has taken far longer than we originally anticipated. However, progress is being made and will soon be at a conclusion, although the situation remains fluid with the lockdown. Nevertheless, when completed hopefully in early December, the equipment will be available for use. We continue to liaise with the contractor and will monitor government directives that influence this.
We are not yet sure how we can facilitate an official opening event to celebrate the efforts put into securing funding, getting the project underway and finished. I would like to thank all those involved in what has turned out to be a challenging period.
The Parish Council does remind users that at the time of writing; From Thursday 5 November national COVID-19 restrictions apply to England, although this allows that outdoor playgrounds can remain open.
In general, you must not meet with another person socially or undertake any activities with another person. However, you can exercise or meet in a public outdoor space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person.
You should minimise time spent outside your home. When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household – meaning the people you live with – or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).
The Parish Council are not able to micromanage, provide direct supervision at the playground, or implement a continuous cleaning regime. We ask all users to consider their own wellbeing and that of others during the use of the equipment and note following:
- We remind users, parents, guardians and carers of the need for social distancing.
- We strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings. Current government guidance states that face coverings should not be used by children under the age of 3 or those who may find it difficult to manage them correctly. Parents should be aware that wearing a face covering in a playground setting could pose an additional safety risk and should use their judgement on whether their children wear a face covering.
- Users are to dispose of used face coverings by taking them home for disposal.
- Cleaning of equipment by users, parents, guardians and carers, particularly where there are clear touch points such as swing rockers and see-saws will improve the safety of all users.
- We encourage parents to bring hand sanitiser gel or wipes to clean their children’s hands.
- We encourage hand hygiene with including washing/sanitising hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and water or approved gel and foam sanitiser, particularly at the beginning and end of play.
- We remind the children not to put their mouths on equipment or their hands in their mouths and not to touch their faces.
- The consumption of food or drink on play equipment or in the playground area is banned due to the risk associated with transmission.
We hope circumstances improve and that everyone can enjoy the new facilities we have been able to provide to the village and local community.
Derek Southgate – Chairman Cockfield Parish Council