Children could be at risk following cuts to the opening hours of a play area in Afon Village in Newport.
The play area will be closing at the earlier time of 6pm on weekdays and will be closing at 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays when the area must be booked and supervised during use.
Independent Councillor Chris Evans for Rogerstone said the reason the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was built in the centre of the community was so people could see and monitor children. He says, “he would much rather children playing in a public area where they can be safeguarded.”
Resident, Reggie Donald, said: “I believe that the aforementioned opening hours and booking system will give rise to anti social behaviour, which has been on the increase in the area judging by the recent months posts on the community page. Residents want a central area where their children can play safely and securely and in eyesight.”
Another resident, Claire Davies added: “The children will be forced to play elsewhere and people drive quite fast through the estate, playing near the roads is not safe.”
Newport Council said the new opening hours were introduced to ensure the facility is regulated to prevent misuse.
A Spokesperson for Newport City Council said: “The new hours, together with the improvements work being carried out early next year, were essential to ensuring the area could remain open. The other option was to close the MUGA completely.”
Cllr Evans has invited Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Debbie Harvey, to a public meeting so she can explain the reasoning behind the changes to opening hours, but has had response.
He says the council should listen to the sector of the community who have concerns about the council’s response.
Cllr Harvey says she’s unable to comment at the moment.