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Angry Denton parents call on council for new playing facilities
Friday 11th November 2016 @ 20:12 by Adam Higgins
Community Denton & Audenshaw News

Angry parents at a Denton primary school have demanded that Tameside Council provide their children with suitable playing facilities.

Since re-opening in March last year, Russell Scott Primary School has been beset by building problems including drainage issues and flooding.

Now, parents are calling for action saying their children have been left without playing fields for over a year, adding that a play area provided for pupils is too small.

They have now branded the current situation as ‘completely unacceptable’.

More than 400 people have signed a petition, which reads: “Russell Scott Primary School Playground and Sports Field have been left in an unusable and unsightly state since March 2015.

“We, the parents, family and friends are raising our voices again due to the lack of remedial action taken from our previous petition. We need this message to be heard and this terrible and irresponsible situation to be put right.”

Parents are also concerned about the safety of the play area.

“Children are at risk of harm and injury due to the lack of space provided,” the petition reads.

“At present there is only 1,200 square metres of playground area which is outside the safe, legal requirement.

“We were promised the playground area was planned to be much larger and for the number of children in school this is now a completely unacceptable situation.”

In response, Tameside Council state they are working to get the playing fields ready for use and insist the school grounds are safe.

A statement from the council says: “Following the recent extension to Russell Scott school a number of works have been agreed with the school. These include reinstating the playing field areas that were used as site compound during the construction phase.

“The playing fields have been levelled and seeded, and following an appropriate period for establishing a grassed surface, they will be back in full use for the school.

“During this period the fields may be fenced off to prevent damage to grass growth. There are no safety implications.”

But parents who signed the petition say they are not satisfied with the response.

They claim the playing area will only be usable for around 10 weeks of the year with the Manchester weather and that the soil and grass surface has already caused issues with access for Years 1 and 2.

Denton and Reddish MP Andrew Gwynne has stepped in stating he is keen to resolve the issue.

“I welcome the petition presented by parents from Russell Scott Primary School; our children deserve outdoor play spaces at school free from the risk of harm or injury,” he said.

“Children benefit hugely from outdoor play spaces ranging from improved learning and academic results, improved health, and their overall wellbeing.

“I have been working with the school and will continue to bring all parties to the table in order to get this issue resolved.”

Russell Scott Head Teacher Steve Marsland said: “We would support the parents in their quest to get the best possible facilities for the children.”


By Tom Greggan