Leeds: ‘Our children have to play in the village roads’

PIC: Simon Hulme
PIC: Simon Hulme
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Residents fearing for the safety of children who they say are forced to play on streets are calling on the council to build a play area in their village.

Campaigners in Thorpe say children are playing in the road because the nearest play area for youngsters is almost one mile away.

The village has a Recreation Ground, off Station Lane, but only part of it has playing facilities and these are aimed at older teenagers.

Ray Laing, chairman of Thorpe Community Centre, said: “There’s nowhere for children to play.

“They have the recreation ground but no facilities to play with because that’s for older teenager, not for little kids.

“I think it’s disgusting. We haven’t got a lot in Thorpe - we haven’t even got a shop. We’ve got nothing and the children have nothing.”

The facilities on Thorpe Recreation Ground are inside a fenced area, which includes basketball-style hoops and markings on the ground.

Mr Laing, 69, said the villagers were told by councillors that a playground for young children would be built in the village.

The nearest play area for youngsters is almost one mile away up a steep hill, in Moor Knoll Lane, he said.

Mr Laing, who has been campaigning for the play area, added: “The children are having to play in the streets and on the roads.

“We already have a ground that is ideal. It worries the villagers that they are playing in the roads.

“What if one gets knocked down, when we have a ground that they could be playing in?”

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said the authority was currently “compiling information” to decide whether to invest in a play area scheme in Thorpe.

“The parks and countryside service has recently met with ward members to discuss the proposed new play area in Thorpe,” the spokeswoman said. The service is compiling the additional information they require to help them to consider this proposal for investment.”

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