Council Leader’s plea for people to follow new measures
The Leader of Wakefield
Council has today (26 March) issued an urgent plea to residents visiting the district’s parks following
concerns about large numbers of people congregating at Pugneys Country
Cllr Denise Jeffery said: “We
are now in a situation that we have never before experienced.
“Earlier this week the
Government announced strict new measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus and
reduce the pressure on the NHS and to save lives. We absolutely have to support
these new restrictions.
“Our normal behaviour simply
cannot continue. I understand that it can be hard to accept, but we must. The
lives of everyone in this district rely on us following the stay at home and
social distancing measures. Please do not underestimate the dreadful impact of
The current Government advice
on social distancing is to only go outside for food, health reasons or work
where absolutely necessary and if you are going outside to exercise, stay two
metres away from other people at all times.
In support of the Government’s
measures announced on Monday evening (24 March), the Council closed all play grounds but in line with
Government guidance kept parks and
country parks open to support the important need for people to have the opportunity to exercise outdoors once a day, in
line with the new rules.
are closely monitoring all the country parks, especially Pugneys, over the next
48 hours. If concerns continue the
Council will have no option but to close or restrict access to some or all of these sites as required.
The café facilities at all Council-owned country parks were closed last
week, ahead of the Government requiring non-essential retail shutdown and
Andrew Balchin, Acting Chief
Executive, added: “The
Government’s new restrictions currently encourage us to keep parks open, but we
are asking residents to use these responsibly and strictly in line with
Government imposed social distancing advice. This is for the good of
everyone’s health and controlling the pandemic.
“We urge everyone to be
responsible, do not take un-necessary journeys and
follow the Government’s clear advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save
People can find
details of local walks on the Wakefield Council website at http://www.wakefield.gov.uk/sport-health-and-leisure/sport-and-activities/walking
to help avoid the need to travel to parks.