A POPULAR adventure playground in Sheffield could lose its staff - sparking a campaign over fears it could lead to more antisocial behaviour in the area.
Campaigners are fighting to delay the proposed removal of Activity Sheffield staff from Highfields Adventure Playground in Sharrow for six months while more funding is sought.
Sheffield Council is considering removing staff and opening a community building at the site for hire or community management, as part of plans to save £50 million.
The site would also be given open access.
But campaigners claim it could lead to vandalism and other problems.
They have launched petitions asking the council to staff the playground for six months while they apply for alternative funding.
Jane Heley, co-chairman of the Friends of Adventure group, said: “We are trying to tell the council we know times are hard but look at the bigger picture.
“This might save money in the short term but in the long term it could mean more PCSOs are needed.”
Children use the playground after school and it acts as a hub where parents can meet.
Parents say taking staff and fencing away would mean certain pieces of equipment being removed to meet health and safety requirements.
Jane added: “We fear it will just deteriorate and be vandalised, no longer a place that young people feel safe hanging out in.
“Apart from Mount Pleasant Park, which has gone through a lot of changes recently, if you take that away you’ve got vulnerable kids, without the support of staff, who are going to be roaming the streets of Sheffield.”
A decision will be made by the council next month.
Coun Isobel Bowler said: “We are considering how we run our adventure playgrounds at Highfields and Pitsmoor.
“We are not proposing to close them, but to make them available for community hire or possibly community management. We are keen to hear from any groups with ideas about how these facilities can continue to be operated.”