Council leader says overgrown park is serving as a deterrent
A council leader has said overgrown grass at a Black Country park is acting as as "deterrent" to stop people from using it.
Maria Crompton, interim leader of Sandwell Council, was responding to concerns over the state of the playground, located on Carnegie Drive, Wednesbury, which has not been cut for seven months.
Residents have complained the grass is taller than their children and fear is poses a fire risk to their homes.
All playgrounds in Sandwell are currently closed by the council to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In response to resident's concerns, Councillor Crompton said: "The play area remains closed and the gate is secured to stop people from entering. All our play areas in Sandwell are still closed to stop the spread of coronavirus and we ask parents not to let their children play on them.
"We haven’t cut the grass at this particular play area because no one is supposed to be using it. The grass acts as an extra deterrent to stop people from using the play equipment.
"Once the decision is taken that it is safe to reopen play areas in Sandwell, we will cut the grass in advance of reopening."
However residents have been left frustrated because the council has not acknowledged the alleged fire risk.
Jill Turner, 60, from Wednesbury, who is a spokesman for the residents, said: "I have been getting messages from residents saying they are fully aware that the kids can't go on the playground.
"But can the grass be cut because they are worried about it being a fire hazard. That is their main concern.
"Maria Crompton hasn't even addressed that problem in her response."
Sandwell Council's grass-cutting services were halted amid the pandemic but returned in a smaller capacity from June for large parks in the borough.