By Gary Carter
A MOTHER has hit out after her child, along with other youngsters, was effectively banned from playing on the street.
Kelly McFie was left stunned when she received a letter from a housing management firm about what was seen as a problem.
Several families living on Calico Crescent in Carrbrook had notes drop through their door on Saturday following complaints.
The letter from Residential Management Group said: “We are receiving ongoing reports that children are playing in front of residents’ houses and near cars and causing a disturbance.
“We please ask that children do not play on the street or on residents’ fronts and instead use their own gardens or the community spaces off site.
“We understand that this is often easier said than done, but it is important that all residents are able to live happily on site without undue disruption, damage to property or intimidation.
“We do advise that should issues continue, that residents open a complaint with the local council and police, to report and log ongoing issues so that community support teams can get involved.”
That note has left Kelly, 35, as baffled as she is angry after her seven-year-old son was one of the children effectively branded a nuisance.
She pointed out that no ball games signs were placed on a small green where kids would play football and that properties’ gardens were not big enough and the nearby Woodview area, known as the Fold, is too secluded.
“It’s crackers,” she said. “We were a bit taken aback when we got the letter. At first, I was just in a state of disbelief, not angry or upset, just in disbelief.
“There are quite a lot of children live on the estate – that’s one of the reasons I moved here – but as far as I’m aware, everyone has received a note.
“Most people who’ve seen it, including some people who do not have children, have had the same kind of reaction.
“Most of the children are under 10 years old, so it’s not as if they’re out late at night making noise, and they’ll be in even earlier now the nights are drawing in.
“My son is in bed at 6.30pm as it is. They might play out for an hour or so after school, it’s not as if they’re out all day and all night. They finish school and they want to burn off a bit of energy.”
She continued: “The first indication that something was going on was in the middle of August when no ball games signs appeared all over the estate.
“There’s a patch of grass in the middle where some of the kids would play football during the summer holidays but some of the neighbours must’ve complained about children playing on the grass.
“The next thing that happened was the no ball games signs appeared, so the kids started playing in the street. We even bought them a sponge ball so it wouldn’t damage any cars.
“The letter suggests children should play in their own gardens or at Woodview, which is nearby. Well, the gardens aren’t big enough and Woodview is out of sight.
“There’s no way I’m going to let my son play on there where I can’t see him.”
Mrs McFie, who runs a gym in Denton, says she can hear the children when they are playing on the street but not to a disturbing extent.
Now she is hitting back after launching a petition to allow kids to be able to play on the street, like generations have in this country.
So far almost 300 people have signed the call and Kelly believes asking kids to not play on the street is daft, especially as the country is experiencing a crisis of childhood obesity.
She added: “Everyone on the street was afforded the freedom to play out when they were kids, so to try and take that away is really unfair.
“Obesity is rife in children. Many are stuck inside playing on their X Box or Playstation.
“Ours spend a fair bit of time at after school clubs and things like that but they always want to do more and they should be allowed to.”
Mrs McFie and other enraged parents have contacted Residential Management Group, which looks after Calico Crescent from its office in Northwich, Cheshire.
However, some have complained that they have either not replied at all or misread the emails and not given a satisfactory response.
“We’re waiting for one,” Kelly added. “Everyone is waiting to see what they say.”
Despite assuring that there will be a response to the Correspondent’s request for a comment, they have so far not replied.