Children hit by ‘ban’ on playing out
PARENTS ASKED TO KEEP YOUNGSTERS OFF ESTATE’S STREETS BECAUSE THEY CAUSE ‘DISTURBANCE’
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