Chil­dren hit by ‘ban’ on play­ing out


Manchester Evening News - - FRONT PAGE - By SAM YAR­WOOD sam.yar­wood@trin­i­tymir­ @sam­yarwood89

CHIL­DREN liv­ing on an es­tate in Tameside have been ‘banned’ from play­ing on the street out­side their homes.

A let­ter has been sent to res­i­dents on Cal­ico Cres­cent and Print­ers Drive in Staly­bridge by Res­i­den­tial Man­age­ment Group ask­ing for kids to be kept in their gar­dens – or go to a park.

Bosses said young­sters had been play­ing in front of houses and near cars on the Stone­mead es­tate, caus­ing a ‘dis­tur­bance.’

The let­ter read: “We please ask that chil­dren do not play on the street or on res­i­dents’ fronts and in­stead use their own gar­dens or the com­mu­nity spa­ces off site.

“We un­der­stand that this is of­ten eas­ier said than done, but it is im­por­tant that all res­i­dents are able to live hap­pily on site with­out un­due dis­rup­tion, dam­age to prop­erty or in­tim­i­da­tion.”

Fam­i­lies have re­sponded an­grily. Mum-of-one Kelly McFie branded the move ‘ridicu­lous.’ She said one of the rea­sons she moved there was be­cause it was a big, fam­ily es­tate.

Kelly, 35, said: “There’s no through traf­fic, there are nice sur­round­ings, it’s safe, and the es­tate agent told us there were al­ways kids out play­ing so we thought it would be per­fect for our seven-year-old.

“Then at the end of July to the be­gin­ning of Au­gust, a sign went up say­ing that no ball games were al­lowed on the com­mu­nal grass area, after some­one com­plained say­ing it was ru­in­ing the grass. More signs then ap­peared around the es­tate, and since then the kids haven’t been on the grass or play­ing ball games. In­stead they play things like tig or other play­ground games, and ride their bikes, they can al­ways be seen by a par­ent or a friend’s par­ent.”

Kelly, a per­sonal trainer, added: “We’ve been told they now have to ei­ther play in their gar­dens – many of which aren’t big enough – or go off site. There’s a field nearby we take them to when we can, but we can’t all the time, and there’s no way I’m let­ting my son go alone.”

A pe­ti­tion has now been launched call­ing for Res­i­den­tial Man­age­ment Group to scrap the ban.

The pe­ti­tion, which has been signed by nearly 300 peo­ple, reads: “Chil­dren need to play out­side, they need to be al­lowed to be chil­dren. In a day and age where com­puter games and a seden­tary life­style are the norm, and obe­sity rates are ris­ing, it is ridicu­lous for the RMG to try and im­ple­ment this rule.

“On a ‘fam­ily’ es­tate, where lots of chil­dren live, it is com­pletely un­rea­son­able to ask that chil­dren don’t play out to­gether and en­joy the area that they live in. These are good kids. They are not do­ing any harm, or be­ing naughty or dis­re­spect­ful. They are sim­ply be­ing chil­dren and hav­ing fun.

“While chil­dren should be ap­pro­pri­ately su­per­vised and stick to rules and safety mea­sures, they shouldn’t be cooped up.”

The M.E.N. has made nu­mer­ous at­tempts to speak to bosses at Res­i­den­tial Man­age­ment Group. The com­pany has not re­sponded to our re­quest for com­ment.

The es­tate in Staly­bridge where chil­dren have been banned from play­ing out. Right: An­gry mum Kelly McFie

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