Sign sparks tenant’s protest at west end housing scheme

A MOTHER has expressed her concern following a local authority move to display a ‘No Ball Games’ sign where many local children play.

Shona Martin contacted the Dispatch when the sign was erected following complaints from another Archie’s Park tenant to the council. The complaint came after the tenant’s wall was hit with a ball twice over a period of two evenings.

Ms Martin said: “I pointed out to the tenant that it was an accident and that twice over two nights was not, in my opinion, a nuisance and that the children were entitled to play outside their own front door.

“I have lived here for 13 years watched many children grow up and at no point has anyone tried to stop little kids playing on that grass area.”

She added: “The children in question are four, six and seven all of whom, in my opinion as a parent, are too young to be allowed to wander away to any of the parks in the area. My children do frequent parks and attend various extra-curricular activities away from the home but I strongly feel that they should be able to play away safely outside their own front door where I can see them while making meals or seeing my younger child who is only three and not yet allowed out to play.

“The gardens in these properties are not big and whilst they play to a certain extent there, with the best will in the world they cannot run around and be children.”

After contacting the council herself, Ms Martin was left dissatisfied with the response and the placing of the sign.

She said: I cannot understand why a phone call from one tenant can be allowed to have such a detrimental effect on a group of young children who live here and have played on this area quite happily for a good few years.

“With all of the well documented and more serious problems which go on in this area I would have thought that the council would be better served in dealing with them.

“The problems include tenants who play loud music to all hours of the morning keeping children awake.,

“Parents are constantly under scrutiny for not allowing their children to be active and for allowing them to sit at home playing computer games but when faced with this small minded nonsense what options do the children have especially when the winter nights come in. At the moment they are only out to play until 7.30 pm and when the clocks go back this will probably be 6 pm. Children should be allowed to be children and allowed to play away at their own front door.”

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “Unauthorised goal posts have been painted onto the gable end of a property in the Archie’s Park area, and footballs being kicked against this wall are causing nuisance to the resident of the property.

“Although we are taking steps to have these painted posts removed, we felt that a No Ball Games sign would reinforce the message that this is not an authorised play area.

“We would encourage older children who can safely walk there to use the nearby leisure centre grounds to play football. We have no issue with young, supervised children playing on the grass at Archie’s Park.”