Parents brand play park ‘health hazard’ over litter

an overflowing rubbish bin at Newton Poppleford playing fields. Ref shs 3132-29-15AW. Picture: Alex

an overflowing rubbish bin at Newton Poppleford playing fields. Ref shs 3132-29-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Parents have expressed disgust at rubbish from an overflowing bin that they say is rendering a children’s play park a ‘health hazard’.

Dirty nappies strewn over the floor and a disgusting smell are among the problems encountered by families who use the Newton Poppleford site - and say nobody takes responsibility for clearing up the litter.

Back Lane resident Sarah Price visits the park with her children and says the bin is ‘always full and overflowing’.

“It is very sad as the park was put in place after a grant was awarded,” she said.

“There is only one bin, which I think must get used by the people who use the park, the dog walking fields, tennis courts and the pitches.

“There needs to be more bins and they need to be emptied more often.

“It’s not a nice way to attract families to use the park.”

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Another parent said she has made numerous calls to complain, but the situation has not improved.

“I was sitting out there on Thursday and the smell was disgusting,” she said.

“You have to literally step over the rubbish to get into the park.

“There were actually dirty nappies on the floor - it is a health hazard if nothing else.

“It’s shameful. It’s not a good image for the village. There’s just no respect - it’s awful.”

Sidford resident Adam Howe said he often takes his children to the park and agrees ‘it is always a mess’.

He said: “The bin is always overflowing and there is rubbish all over the floor. The car park has been like it for a very long time.”

Newton Poppleford ang Harpford parish clerk David Atkins said: “It’s a bin that East Devon District Council (EDDC) does not empty because it is not on its land, so we have to take it to the [village] pavilion to pop it in the bin there.

“We are short of a caretaker for the pavilion at the moment. As soon as we have one that will be added to their job list.

“I’m talking with EDDC about getting a bigger bin because it’s obviously one that’s used quite a lot. I was hoping that it had been cleared up over the weekend.”