Playgrounds now back in action after flooding

Cllr Susanna Pressel at Oatlands Road Recreation Ground, which had been out of use because of the winter flooding Picture: OX66397 Marc West

Cllr Susanna Pressel at Oatlands Road Recreation Ground, which had been out of use because of the winter flooding Picture: OX66397 Marc West Buy this photo

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

A COMPLAINT has been lodged with Oxford City Council after it took almost three months to clean two playgrounds after flooding.

City councillor Susanna Pressel filed the complaint as children were unable to use Botley Park and Oatlands Road Recreation Ground.

They were finally cleaned on Friday April 4.

The council said it prioritised street cleaning first and had to ensure the playgrounds were not contaminated.

The Labour member for Jericho and Osney said: “A lot of people contacted me saying their children were very upset they weren’t able to use the playgrounds.

“Thank goodness we have got them back in time for Easter holidays.

“The parks department of Oxford City Council have told me they will learn from this.”

The Botley Park playground was padlocked and the Oatlands playground was dirty after flood waters that first hit in January receded at the end of February.

Duke Street resident Mary Timbrell said she first asked the council to clean up on February 26. This was after parents of young children asked her about when the parks would be up and running again.

The 76-year-old said: “The little toddlers had cabin fever. It was awfully smelly and just needed hosing down. You could see on the equipment where the flood waters had got to because they left a mark.

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“They will be thrilled they are back for the Easter holidays. The playgrounds are well used and the children are fond of them.”

Council spokesman Louisa Dean said: “Large areas of the city were flooded and our staff have been working hard to deep-clean affected areas to ensure that they are safe for the public to use again.

“To date we have been focusing on cleaning the streets and ensuring that the roads, footpaths and verges are clean and safe.”

She said: “Before reopening the affected play areas to the public, we have had to remove all the bark and sand, as well as jet washing and disinfecting them.

“We want to be certain they are safe for children to use following the flood water contamination. We would like to thank our residents for being patient.”

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