This LEAP (Local Education Authority Playground) on Consort Avenue is a council owned playground designed for 5 to 8 year olds. It was constructed in about 2014. Unlike other playgrounds, this one did not have a safety fence around it, to stop young children running into the road while playing. Furthermore, some dog owners have been allowing their dogs to use this playground as a toilet area, despite a small notice requesting ‘no dogs’.
In April 2019, TMC put in an application for section 106 money (compulsory contributions from Developers) in order to provide a safety fence which would also keep out dogs. A council meeting in June 2019 allocated £30,000 on this fence. This meeting was chaired by the Trumpington Councillor Katie Thornburrow. The fence was recently erected and consisted of a good metal fence alongside Consort Avenue. However, the other 3 sides of the playground had only a low level wooden bar with several gaps. These gaps will allow children to run out onto Old Mills road where cyclists and electric scooters often whizz past. Furthermore, this fence does not stop dogs using this play ground as a toilet. Even if dog owners try to clear up their dog’s poo, that is not 100% successful. The grass in the playground is regularly cut by the Council but this merely chops up and spreads the dog poo. Katie Thornburrow has been informed of the unsatisfactory outcome of this fence.
The main problem with dog poo in a playground for young children is TOXOCARIASIS. This is cause by round worm parasites. Infected faeces from dogs contain the eggs from this parasite. Young children can catch it by touching infected soil. Inside the children, the eggs hatch and the larvae get through the gut wall and are then circulated in the blood to other parts of the body (eg liver, heart, lungs, brain, muscles and eyes. If eyes are affected, this can lead to blindness. If the central nervous system is affected this can lead to a type of meningitis. There are many other problems as well , it just depends where the larvae go.
So, for road safety and health reasons it is imperative that this playground is made more secure. TMC will keep you posted of any developments.