Parks lock-out thin end of the wedge

THE SHOCKING news that a teenage girl had died of her injuries after a toboggoning accident in Rotherham put paid to the upbeat snow stories on TV. The blast of Siberian weather on Monday was greeted by the usual groans about the roads and railways, but

THE SHOCKING news that a teenage girl had died of her injuries after a toboggoning accident in Rotherham put paid to the upbeat snow stories on TV.

The blast of Siberian weather on Monday was greeted by the usual groans about the roads and railways, but spawned thousands of pictures of people enjoying their snowbound parks and open spaces.

Here in Redbridge though, some of the borough's youngsters were frozen out of the parks after the council put the locks on the gates.

The reason will have had the "elf n safety" angry brigade choking on their cornflakes - they didn't want people twisting their ankles in the thick snow.


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In this litigious world one can see where they are coming from - but aren't they encouraging people to complain rather than protecting themselves? Who would have thought of suing the council if they fell off their sledge after a park spill?

Clearly the Rotherham incident was tragic, but a rare occurrence. Toboggoning, or sledging as we called it, can be a dangerous pastime, but usually leaving the "driver" with little more than a few bruises.

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Snowball fights can also prove risky, especially when you get hit by ones made of ice.

But how much safer is it for people to play in the roads, than in the parks?

One wonders where we are heading if Monday's move is repeated. Will the parks be closed in the spring, in case people get hit by falling blossom and will the council fear being sued in summer if sun bathers get burned?

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