Lockdown rules flouted at Uckfield play parks

Sussex Police have been asked to pay attention to people using Uckfield play areas in violation of closed notices.

The town council-owned play areas, including those at Hempstead Road and Ridgewood, were shut when people were ordered to stay at home as part of the effort to stop the coronavirus spreading.

Hempstead Road play area

Cllr James Edwards, speaking at a meeting of the council’s general purposes committee, said he had seen people using the Hempstead Road play equipment in breach of the closure notices.

“We have also had complaints coming from Ridgewood of people also ignoring the signage.”

He asked: “Is there anything we can do to be more forceful in terms of putting more signage up, differing the wording, anything at all?

Zip wires

Mark Francis, the council’s facilities manager, said it was a difficult situation as there were many play parks in the town and only two ground staff, who worked separately, on different days.

He said there were practical difficulties in removing some equipment but they had looked at taking away the zip wires.

Inform police

“Apart from signs and getting residents to report to the police, there isn’t much more we can do,” adding reports had been made to the police through the town clerk, Holly Goring.

Cllr Jackie Love said a list of council-owned parks had been given to Sussex Police and they were being checked.

Cllr Jackie Love

“It is something that is being watched,” she said.

Cllr Love said she had a facility to directly contact officers if there were issues.

“If you see instances, it is always best to do a 101 report and mark it for the attention of Jon Gross (Wealden police inspector).

“They will check it out for us.”

Cllr Ben Cox said there had been similar issues at Selby Meadow in New Town.

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