East Devon District Council has received a number of enquiries from people who would like to see our skateparks and multi-use games areas re-open.
While we understand the eagerness by some to use these much-loved facilities, government guidance has advised that playgrounds and similar facilities must remain closed for the time being until we are told otherwise.
These facilities attract large numbers of people and the activities they are used for would, by their nature, lead to breaches of social distancing. The council would be unable to regulate social distancing at these sites or clean all surfaces to the frequency needed to prevent the potential for the virus to be present.
The safety of our residents is paramount and we, as a council, have worked very hard to ensure that their health and wellbeing is protected from any identified risks from coronavirus. No one wants to undermine the measures and sacrifices our residents have made over the last three months to control the spread of coronavirus.
The government has acknowledged that playground sites – which would include skateparks - are a risk and their guidance to us is to keep them closed.
We understand that there are some people who are ignoring this advice and using the skateparks in our district. We appeal to you not to. You put yourself and others at risk by doing so.
Cllr Geoff Jung, Coast, Countryside and Environment portfolio holder for the district council, said: “I appreciate that young people want to use our skateparks and multi-use game areas, and this is something we hope can be achieved in the near future, however, there is no specific government guidance for these facilities. Because of the way these facilities are used, we must, in the interest of public health, consider them in the same way as our playgrounds and apply the government guidelines for those accordingly. We are constantly reviewing all our facilities and it is hoped all play areas will be considered safe to be used shortly as the government further relaxes the emergency measures.”