Families left deflated by '˜ridiculous' Portsmouth City Council rules

A BOILING-HOT family is upset after council officers demanded that their paddling pool and other inflatables were taken down from a communal garden.

Friday, 27th July 2018, 6:36 pm
Updated Friday, 27th July 2018, 7:54 pm
Emma Graham and Sean Logan with some of the children who are upset about not having the inflatable Picture: Habibur Rahman

Several parents living in council-owned Winchester House on Billy Lawn Avenue worked together on Thursday to set up summer play equipment for their children to enjoy, including a bouncy slide, paddling pool and slip and slide, only to be told it had to be removed by a Portsmouth City Council official.

The children had already used the toys the previous day around the side of the house with no issues. However, within an hour of playing in the back garden a council official shut down the fun.

Father-of-two Sean Logan, aged 30, said: '˜All the kids were having fun and all the kids were safe. There were nine of them and five adults supervising.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Emma Graham and Sean Logan with some of the children who are upset about not having the inflatable Picture: Habibur Rahman

'˜Some of us can't afford to take our children to other places like splash pools. This would've meant unlimited fun for the kids this summer.

'˜The children were really upset when it had to be taken down. One of our friend's daughters was crying. I just think it is out of order.'

One of his neighbours, Charlotte Purcell, 28, agreed. '˜It is ridiculous. We haven't got a garden, this communal area is basically our garden,' she said.

'˜We had a big pool out here last year. The council said as long as it was taken down at night it was fine.

'˜Not everyone has got the money to take their kids to the splash pools and not everyone has cars. In this heatwave they should make some allowances.'

However, the council did confirm the equipment could be used in Mr Logan's garden. David Mearns, Portsmouth City Council's head of local authority housing, said: '˜We don't want to stop anyone having fun, or prevent families looking for ways to cool down in this hot weather.

'˜We do have a responsibility for what happens in communal areas, but we'll also work with residents to make sure they're able to enjoy themselves. In this case we discussed with the resident about moving the inflatable play equipment to their own garden.

'˜It's about making sure young children are safe and supervised, especially where water and safety are concerned, and also because it could become more popular than the residents originally anticipated. Hopefully this is a suitable compromise for everyone.'

But Mr Logan added: '˜Our garden can only fit the pool in it. We wanted all these kids to be able to join in.'

Macayla Linford, eight, couldn't believe what had happened. She said: '˜It had only just been put up when it had to be taken straight down. I had the most fun on the slide. I was so disappointed when it had to be taken down.'

Her friend, Liam Pugh, 11, said: '˜This is stopping us keeping cool during the heatwave. Instead of working against us why can't they work with us?'

Nine-year-old Casey Alp added: '˜I feel like summer's been ruined.'