Posted: Wed 15th Apr 2020

Wrexham Council urged to open fields to public during coronavirus crisis

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 15th, 2020

Calls have been made for school fields and other green spaces in Wrexham to be opened to the public during the coronavirus crisis.

Restrictions have been imposed on non-essential travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in people being urged not to drive to parks in the county borough for exercise.

A petition has now been created asking Wrexham Council to give greater access to fields in the area.

It has been launched by members of a campaign group, who are opposing plans to build a school on the Nine Acre Field in Maesydre.

They want the land, which is currently locked off, to be made available for exercise, as well as the nearby Groves School site and other locations.

On the petition page, a spokesperson said: “The restrictions on public movement during the current Covid-19 pandemic have created a need for Wrexham residents to have much more access to fields and green spaces in their own communities.

“Wrexham has a deficit in publicly accessible green space, this includes local playing fields and school fields.

“The restriction on movement serves to highlight how many of us are forced to use our vehicles to access open public green space because the amenities in our own communities are closed for daily use.

“The few remaining parks that are open are becoming too overcrowded for residents to maintain strict social distancing protocol.”

They added: “We recognise that playgrounds remain unsafe to use due to the ease of contamination on play surfaces.

“However, opening school and other playing fields will allow residents to pursue healthy activities, such as jogging and walking (many with dogs) while keeping the appropriate social distance.”

The petition asks the council to open up all fields between the hours of 8am and 7pm.

It also appeals for Glyndwr University to allow access to a fenced-off area of green space on Dean Road in Rhosnesni, where the institution wants permission to build houses.

The university has previously rejected the suggestion as it said the land was private.

Wrexham Council’s chief executive Ian Bancroft has also resisted the calls and is encouraging people to exercise in their gardens instead.

He said: “In accordance with advice issued nationally, the council is encouraging people to make use of their gardens or to exercise locally while observing social distancing rules.

“It would not therefore be appropriate to encourage people to use such facilities, especially where they are not normally open to the public, as is the case with the Nine Acre Field.”

The petition can be found by visiting www.change.org/p/wrexham-county-borough-council-open-the-gates-wrexham

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter



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