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Misuse and damage on the Playing Fields

You may have read Nigel Ackers’ post about the damage to the marquee, a few days ago.

 The Parish Council and Social Centre need to inform you that this is not an isolated incident. Over the past few months children and teenagers have committed damage by over enthusiastic play or sheer vandalism on the new tennis/netball courts and play area. 

The courts have tyre rubber skids marks on them now, children have been swinging on the netball posts, clogging the tennis posts’ winding mechanism, playing football and rugby in their studded boots, chipping the surface practicing hockey, playing basketball, etc. etc. The courts have a special sports surface now. Tennis and netball, with appropriate footwear, are the only activities to be played on there. 

One of the benches for parents to sit on in the Play Area has systematically had the back-support slats broken by kicking/smashing them. Five slats have been smashed so far. The Cricket Club experience similar issues from time to time.

The total investment for the courts, play area and marquee is in the region of £90,000. In the final analysis, you have funded these projects directly or indirectly. All of you are our key stakeholders. It would be very sad, not to mention wasteful financially, if the tennis courts were to revert to the sorry state they were in previously. Please help us to keep your facilities in great condition.

The Parish Council and Social Centre members have recently met to discuss these issues and will identify children who have, because of over enthusiasm or blatant negative behaviour, damaged equipment or facilities. We please need the support of villagers to contact Social Centre or Parish Council members if they witness that youngsters are misbehaving in this way. Parents will be contacted when damage occurs, when these children are identified. 

We did wonder if parents could sit their children down and discuss these issues with them.

Perhaps discuss where your children are playing when unsupervised. What are they doing after school, or in the evenings? Fun play, health, fitness, developing social skills and a social conscience are crucial in our children’s development and should be encouraged. We all desire this for our children. Please can we work together to achieve these goals, but in a way that is not anti-social?

Maybe you or your children themselves might have ideas of some activities or facilities that one would wish to develop? The Social Centre are looking for suggestions, they have been asking for ideas for projects in the village. We still need new active members to join the Social Centre. Why not join us to influence policies and develop facilities, services and activities? 

Together we can make a difference!

Thank you for listening.

Ashton Parish Council and Ashton Social Centre

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