Sheffield mums in row over children playing out

Fed up: Mums and children upset after youngsters were asked not to play on communal grass areas.'                     PICTURE: GLENN ASHLEY
Fed up: Mums and children upset after youngsters were asked not to play on communal grass areas.' PICTURE: GLENN ASHLEY
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ANGRY mums on a Sheffield estate today branded a letter asking them not to let their children play on communal grass areas outside their homes as ‘a joke’.

Families living on Brindley Close, Norton Lees, were told to encourage youngsters to ‘find a more appropriate, yet safe’ place to play by Sheffield Homes after complaints about noise and damage caused by ball games.

Residents say it is unsafe for children to go alone to nearby parks and their back gardens are too small to mix together.

Mum-of-six Sarah Cullen, aged 40, grew up playing with friends on the estate.

She said: “In this day and age would you send your child off to a park to play at seven years old?

“I want my children where I can see them. I pay my rent as much as anybody else and I think they are entitled to play out. This is a family estate.

“I don’t let my kids roam the streets but I’m sure if I did there would be complaints.”

Sheffield Homes says there have been reports of children using ‘abusive’ language towards other residents.

But the mums insist their youngsters have done nothing wrong and they were not consulted about any problems.

Mum Lisa Stacey, 46, added: “It’s a joke. I want my son Cole, who is nine, playing where I can see him and where I know he is going to be safe.

“You just get a letter and are expected to say nothing and keep your kids inside.”

Glyn Hitchen, central area manager for Sheffield Homes, said they had working with Brindley Tenants’ and Residents’ Association to solve problems.

“We have received several complaints from residents about children using abusive language towards them and playing ball games such as football and cricket in communal grass areas.

“This is causing a noise nuisance as balls are regularly being hit against people’s properties and windows.

“In some cases ornamental items, flower beds and trees have been damaged.”