Call for action over broken glass in playground sand

Duoro Place playground in Norwich

Concerns have been raised over broken glass at the Douro Place playground in Norwich. - Credit: Norwich Green Party

Broken glass scattered in sand at a children's play area continues to worry parents, more than a year after a council agreed to put in a safer surface.

Council bosses blamed the coronavirus pandemic for the hold-up in replacing the sand at Douro Place playground, which is often littered with broken glass dropped there by street drinkers.

Parents living near the park, in Norwich's West Pottergate area, raised concern about the sharp shards of glass - and other items - in the play area's sand back in 2019.

They checked the area twice a day for a month, recording what they found in the sand, with the results passed to Norwich City Council.

Backed by Green city councillor Denise Carlo, who represents Nelson ward, the council agreed in November 2019, that it would replace the sand with a safer surface.

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But the sand - and the smashed glass - remains a problem at the play area, with the council yet to replace it with a different surface.

When the Labour-controlled council set its budget last week, the Greens tabled an amendment, calling for money to be committed to replace the surface.

Cllr Denise Carlo. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Denise Carlo, Green city councillor for Nelson ward. - Credit: Archant

Ms Carlo said: "The council has taken no action to replace this dangerous surface, despite having agreed to do so in November 2019.

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"Green councillors shouldn't have to table a budget amendment to make sure this kind of essential maintenance is carried out and local residents shouldn't have to put up with unsafe play areas for children for such a long time."

The Green amendment was lost.

And the council has said the coronavirus pandemic was the reason why the work has yet to be done.

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said: “We agreed to replace the sand towards the end of 2019 with a view to it going ahead in the warmer months of 2020.

"Clearly, due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic, that work had to be put on hold.

"But as we’ll shortly be entering the first phase of a planned and gradual ease of lockdown that means we will finally have the chance to review our programme of work, which will include this play area.”

Last year, Bowers Avenue park in Mile Cross was shut because sandpits had been "contaminated" with glass, with the council saying it did not have the budget to replace the sand.

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