Ashington Town Council, with immediate effect, has taken the decision to close the Peoples Park Play Area facility following the nearby siting of a COVID-19 Testing Station.

The Town Council was not consulted, involved or included in any assessment, risk or otherwise, of the selection of the location and opening of the Testing Station within the nearby car park. Residents, parents and town council members were understandably concerned regarding any perceived risks to children and adults.

Although not requested to do so by the Public Health Authority or Northumberland County Council, Ashington Town Council feel that closure of the play area is the proper and right decision in the management of risk, particularly in the light of recent Covid announcements including those made today (Monday 28 September).

For clarification the Town Council owns no land in Peoples Park and only has responsibility for the maintenance and management of the children's play area. The Town Council understands that some parents and most young children will be disappointed but hope that the reasoning is understood at this challenging time for us all. Like everyone else in the town, the Town Council is hoping for a safe end to the current pandemic and the impact it is having on all areas of our daily lives.

The closure will of course be kept under review but will likely be linked to the presence of the testing station.