Parents banned from two Watford Borough Council play areas

Parents make their feelings known outside the Harwoods play area

Parents make their feelings known outside the Harwoods play area

First published in News Watford Observer: Photograph of the Author by

Parents have been banned from watching their own children enjoy two council-run adventure play areas because they have not been vetted by police.

Mums and dads have been told they will no longer be welcome in two play areas supervised by Watford Borough Council staff, from Monday (November 2).

The change in policy, at the Harwoods and Harebreaks recreation grounds, will see adults excluded from the fenced off parks, with children cared for exclusively by qualified and police vetted council staff, known as play rangers.

Mayor Dorothy Thornhill argued the council is merely enforcing Government policy at the play areas, in Vicarage Road and Leggatts Way respectively.

She said: “Sadly, in today's climate, you can’t have adults walking around unchecked in a children’s playground.”

Some parents, however, have lambasted the “ridiculous” and "crazy" decision which they say breaches their personal freedoms.

Mum-of-eight Jennifer Abbasi said: “I have been using the Harwoods playground for 18 years. I have every faith in the staff but there are not enough [three] on duty during a session.

“It is a sad day when parents cannot be involved with the enjoyment of their children and share valuable play time when it may be the only quality time spent together.”

Grandmother Mo Mills branded the decision as “crazy”. She said: “What am I supposed to do when I take my five-year-old granddaughter down there? Am I supposed to drop her off and say: ‘There you go, I’ll pick you up later?’. It’s crazy.”

Rebekah Makinson, mum-of-three, added: “We have used Harwoods since I was a child and my mother stayed with me. It has always had a fantastic community atmosphere. Even with the excellent staff employed it is ridiculous to assume that three staff members can safeguard the high volume of children that currently use the playground.

“Banning parents from an open access playground, I feel, is a breech of our personal freedom.

“I hope the council will overturn this decision otherwise we will not be visiting the site again.” Mayor Thornhill added: “The playgrounds are not a meeting place for adults. We have reviewed our procedures, so although previously some parents have stayed with their children at the discretion of our play-workers, this is not something we can continue to do.

“There are other places in the town for parents with small children to go.”

Comments (60)

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1:44pm Tue 27 Oct 09

Reader (R) says...

“There are other places in the town for parents with small children to go.”

The mayor needs to remember that it's the parents who pay the wages!!

In a years time it will be said that the playgrounds were under-attended, the play rangers will made redundant and new homes will appear on the sites.
“There are other places in the town for parents with small children to go.” The mayor needs to remember that it's the parents who pay the wages!! In a years time it will be said that the playgrounds were under-attended, the play rangers will made redundant and new homes will appear on the sites. Reader (R)
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Tue 27 Oct 09

big willie says...

This is bloody outrageous!

I for one, would feel rather uneasy with leaving my children with strangers, given the rough and tumble of these places.
What Dotty ought to remember is that Vanessa George was also 'vetted'.
We all know what happened there....

I suggest that every parent in the area inundate the council with applications for CRB checks and insist that the council pick up the tab for them.
We'd soon see Downhill Dorothy back down over this ridiculous and illegal ban.
This is bloody outrageous! I for one, would feel rather uneasy with leaving my children with strangers, given the rough and tumble of these places. What Dotty ought to remember is that Vanessa George was also 'vetted'. We all know what happened there.... I suggest that every parent in the area inundate the council with applications for CRB checks and insist that the council pick up the tab for them. We'd soon see Downhill Dorothy back down over this ridiculous and illegal ban. big willie
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Tue 27 Oct 09

big willie says...

*Illegal*
It is only government policy, not Law.
*Illegal* It is only government policy, not Law. big willie
  • Score: 0

7:03pm Tue 27 Oct 09

Mark Jeffery says...

Statement from Watford Borough Council:
There are a number of inaccuracies in this article, from the information we gave the paper. We hope this is corrected - in the meantime:

We haven't 'banned parents from play areas'. Our two supervised adventure playgrounds - Harwoods and Harebreaks Adventure Playgrounds - are specifically for children between the age of 5 and 15 years ONLY. (ie not for children under 5, or adults). This has always been the case, but we have tighten up procedures to ensure that the facilities are for the intended age range only.
They are NOT for adults, who want to hang round. The council has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for children at these adventure playgrounds, which we take very seriously. Our superviser playworkers there are fully qualified and CRB checked. They can not have adults walking about as they please. The council has already written to, and met face to face with the parents in question and explained this, to be clear.

Adults who are not CRB checked, should not be on the site. This reduces any potential risks to children and ensures they are able to play freely.

There are plenty of other great places in Watford for adults, or adults with children under five to go to (e.g. our 40 unsupervised parks/ playgrounds and open spaces, or any of the five Children's Centres in the town).

One comment from a parent in the article is that we don't have enough staff there. >> This is NOT true. We do have enough qualified, CRB-checked staff on site to run these sessions.

We hope this clarifies any of the inaccuracies.

Incidentially, I believe the police service (and not councils) undertake CRB checks.

Mark Jeffery
Communications Manager
Watford Borough Council
Statement from Watford Borough Council: There are a number of inaccuracies in this article, from the information we gave the paper. We hope this is corrected - in the meantime: We haven't 'banned parents from play areas'. Our two supervised adventure playgrounds - Harwoods and Harebreaks Adventure Playgrounds - are specifically for children between the age of 5 and 15 years ONLY. (ie not for children under 5, or adults). This has always been the case, but we have tighten up procedures to ensure that the facilities are for the intended age range only. They are NOT for adults, who want to hang round. The council has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for children at these adventure playgrounds, which we take very seriously. Our superviser playworkers there are fully qualified and CRB checked. They can not have adults walking about as they please. The council has already written to, and met face to face with the parents in question and explained this, to be clear. Adults who are not CRB checked, should not be on the site. This reduces any potential risks to children and ensures they are able to play freely. There are plenty of other great places in Watford for adults, or adults with children under five to go to (e.g. our 40 unsupervised parks/ playgrounds and open spaces, or any of the five Children's Centres in the town). One comment from a parent in the article is that we don't have enough staff there. >> This is NOT true. We do have enough qualified, CRB-checked staff on site to run these sessions. We hope this clarifies any of the inaccuracies. Incidentially, I believe the police service (and not councils) undertake CRB checks. Mark Jeffery Communications Manager Watford Borough Council Mark Jeffery
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Tue 27 Oct 09

Mark Jeffery says...

big willie wrote:
This is bloody outrageous! I for one, would feel rather uneasy with leaving my children with strangers, given the rough and tumble of these places. What Dotty ought to remember is that Vanessa George was also 'vetted'. We all know what happened there.... I suggest that every parent in the area inundate the council with applications for CRB checks and insist that the council pick up the tab for them. We'd soon see Downhill Dorothy back down over this ridiculous and illegal ban.
To be clear: The supervised locaked down Adventure Playgrounds have always been for 5 to 15 year old children ONLY.

We provide these facilities for residents to use if they wish - and have qualified trained, CRB checked staff who supervise the play.
[quote][p][bold]big willie[/bold] wrote: This is bloody outrageous! I for one, would feel rather uneasy with leaving my children with strangers, given the rough and tumble of these places. What Dotty ought to remember is that Vanessa George was also 'vetted'. We all know what happened there.... I suggest that every parent in the area inundate the council with applications for CRB checks and insist that the council pick up the tab for them. We'd soon see Downhill Dorothy back down over this ridiculous and illegal ban.[/p][/quote]To be clear: The supervised locaked down Adventure Playgrounds have always been for 5 to 15 year old children ONLY. We provide these facilities for residents to use if they wish - and have qualified trained, CRB checked staff who supervise the play. Mark Jeffery
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Tue 27 Oct 09

the main one says...

WHAT NEXT??? No unvetted adults allowed in town from 7am to 9am and 3pm to 5pm because school children are around!!!

Or even better, parents not allowed in their own house when their children have friends round!!

This is totally ridiculous, look at Vanessa George - she must have been vetted to get her job at the nursery - so even vetting isn't the answer and you can't expect the Police to get things totally right mainly due to their lack of investigational powers - for example: a criminal can legally change their name without informing the Police, hence John Jones could be vetted without the Police knowing he used to be a criminal called John Smith, the whole system is stupid.

I suggest everyone boycotts the playgrounds and let them become a burden for the council, that way the dumb tw*ts might realise they are going too far with their child protection ideas. It is an insult to innocent adults for such vetting to be applied to supervise their own children.

But then, this is the UK, run by total tw*ts all round!!!! Surely, children are safer with their parents around!!

WHAT NEXT??? No unvetted adults allowed in town from 7am to 9am and 3pm to 5pm because school children are around!!! Or even better, parents not allowed in their own house when their children have friends round!! This is totally ridiculous, look at Vanessa George - she must have been vetted to get her job at the nursery - so even vetting isn't the answer and you can't expect the Police to get things totally right mainly due to their lack of investigational powers - for example: a criminal can legally change their name without informing the Police, hence John Jones could be vetted without the Police knowing he used to be a criminal called John Smith, the whole system is stupid. I suggest everyone boycotts the playgrounds and let them become a burden for the council, that way the dumb tw*ts might realise they are going too far with their child protection ideas. It is an insult to innocent adults for such vetting to be applied to supervise their own children. But then, this is the UK, run by total tw*ts all round!!!! Surely, children are safer with their parents around!! the main one
  • Score: 0

7:21pm Tue 27 Oct 09

the main one says...

THEN AGAIN, I was typing my comment when Mark Jeffery's comments were added.

SO MAYBE it is the Watford Observer getting it wrong again!!!

I still think child protection laws are going to far though, for example you soon won't be allowed to take neighbours/friends children to school without being vetted, how dumb is that? For starters, if one mother takes two other people's children to school, take is two less cars on the road each day or less children travelling alone on buses etc... but it looks like the tw*ts don't care about the environment or lone children.
THEN AGAIN, I was typing my comment when Mark Jeffery's comments were added. SO MAYBE it is the Watford Observer getting it wrong again!!! I still think child protection laws are going to far though, for example you soon won't be allowed to take neighbours/friends children to school without being vetted, how dumb is that? For starters, if one mother takes two other people's children to school, take is two less cars on the road each day or less children travelling alone on buses etc... but it looks like the tw*ts don't care about the environment or lone children. the main one
  • Score: 0

8:04pm Tue 27 Oct 09

Steve, Abbots Langley says...

Pathetic attempt by the Mayor to blame the government. As her Communications Manager (at whatever cost) says the Lib Dems have merely "tightened up" their own procedures. So, it is Ms Thornhill and the Lib Dems who are to blame. Simple.

Perhaps she'll do a u-turn like she did on the market and claim it all as a triumph for her listening skills, having made a bad move in the first place.
Pathetic attempt by the Mayor to blame the government. As her Communications Manager (at whatever cost) says the Lib Dems have merely "tightened up" their own procedures. So, it is Ms Thornhill and the Lib Dems who are to blame. Simple. Perhaps she'll do a u-turn like she did on the market and claim it all as a triumph for her listening skills, having made a bad move in the first place. Steve, Abbots Langley
  • Score: 0

8:09pm Tue 27 Oct 09

big willie says...

Indeed, Mark Jeffreys, the police issue CRB checks.
But if Dotties minions insist that these be shown at playgrounds, then the council should pick up the tab. Simple as that.

Furthermore, this story is all about local authorities implementing knee-jerk government policies which are merely recommendations and not as yet LAW.
It's all about a neo facist Labour government eroding the rights of the masses without due legal course and under terror legislation.
I can just see the next data base being concieved.
People want to wake up and smell the coffee....... Before they lose the right to a nights sleep.
Indeed, Mark Jeffreys, the police issue CRB checks. But if Dotties minions insist that these be shown at playgrounds, then the council should pick up the tab. Simple as that. Furthermore, this story is all about local authorities implementing knee-jerk government policies which are merely recommendations and not as yet LAW. It's all about a neo facist Labour government eroding the rights of the masses without due legal course and under terror legislation. I can just see the next data base being concieved. People want to wake up and smell the coffee....... Before they lose the right to a nights sleep. big willie
  • Score: 0

11:42pm Tue 27 Oct 09

curly62 says...

This sort of nonense is becoming increasingly commonplace and unless we all fight these regulations where will they all end? Mark Jeffery (who is he by the way?) says
'They are NOT for adults, who want to hang round'. HANG AROUND? Since when has watching your children play been deemed to be hanging around? I have been taking my children to the Harebreaks for years, usually with a friend and her children. Her youngest is only 6 and there is no way she would leave her there to play alone. One of my sons is autistic and enjoys playing there but he needs to be supervised. Sadly, he will no longer be able to go as the supervision is simply not adequate. Teenagers, kids with special needs and 5 year olds is simply not a safe mix. Some of the kids that go to these playgrounds are really rough and used to looking after themselves. They use bad language, push the younger kids around and are intolerant of kids with learning difficulties. The more parents around the better in my opinion.
'They can not have adults walking about as they please.'
Why not? Isn't it a council (i.e.Taxpayer funded) facility? What about the other parks and playgrounds. There is always a mix of supervised and unsupervised kids around in them. At least with the adventure playgrounds you have to sign in and there are staff around to keep an eye on things. Personally, I cannot imagine why someone who wanted to abuse or kidnap a child would use a supervised playground when there are plenty of unsupervised ones around. What sort of message are we sending to our children? All adults including your own parents are suspected child abusers and cannot be trusted around other people's children!
What part of Government policy is this anyway? Is it another piece of hastily written, badly interpreted legislation like the one that banned people from reciprocal childcare and has now been overturned? Can the council give us even one example of a child being harmed in anyway by another child's parent in one of these facilities? Is it not bad enough that they have cut funding for the summer playschemes (reduced in number) and for schemes for special needs kids (non-existent)?
If you do not agree with this policy, I urge you to complain in the strongest terms to the council and write to your councillor and MP.
This sort of nonense is becoming increasingly commonplace and unless we all fight these regulations where will they all end? Mark Jeffery (who is he by the way?) says 'They are NOT for adults, who want to hang round'. HANG AROUND? Since when has watching your children play been deemed to be hanging around? I have been taking my children to the Harebreaks for years, usually with a friend and her children. Her youngest is only 6 and there is no way she would leave her there to play alone. One of my sons is autistic and enjoys playing there but he needs to be supervised. Sadly, he will no longer be able to go as the supervision is simply not adequate. Teenagers, kids with special needs and 5 year olds is simply not a safe mix. Some of the kids that go to these playgrounds are really rough and used to looking after themselves. They use bad language, push the younger kids around and are intolerant of kids with learning difficulties. The more parents around the better in my opinion. 'They can not have adults walking about as they please.' Why not? Isn't it a council (i.e.Taxpayer funded) facility? What about the other parks and playgrounds. There is always a mix of supervised and unsupervised kids around in them. At least with the adventure playgrounds you have to sign in and there are staff around to keep an eye on things. Personally, I cannot imagine why someone who wanted to abuse or kidnap a child would use a supervised playground when there are plenty of unsupervised ones around. What sort of message are we sending to our children? All adults including your own parents are suspected child abusers and cannot be trusted around other people's children! What part of Government policy is this anyway? Is it another piece of hastily written, badly interpreted legislation like the one that banned people from reciprocal childcare and has now been overturned? Can the council give us even one example of a child being harmed in anyway by another child's parent in one of these facilities? Is it not bad enough that they have cut funding for the summer playschemes (reduced in number) and for schemes for special needs kids (non-existent)? If you do not agree with this policy, I urge you to complain in the strongest terms to the council and write to your councillor and MP. curly62
  • Score: 0

7:57am Wed 28 Oct 09

kittencat says...

What about swimming pools, I went swimming the other day and there were children there too - and not my own!! shall I get a CRB check so I can take my children swimming just in case other little ones are there.
And I sat in the cafe afterwards while a childrens swimming lesson was taking place - maybe curtains need to be installed just in case
I think someone! has gone a little OTT with reading the guidelines set out lol and I hope its not a way to get these important facilities closed down.
What about swimming pools, I went swimming the other day and there were children there too - and not my own!! shall I get a CRB check so I can take my children swimming just in case other little ones are there. And I sat in the cafe afterwards while a childrens swimming lesson was taking place - maybe curtains need to be installed just in case I think someone! has gone a little OTT with reading the guidelines set out lol and I hope its not a way to get these important facilities closed down. kittencat
  • Score: 0

9:12am Wed 28 Oct 09

imuz says...

oh dear what a truly sad world we live in.
oh dear what a truly sad world we live in. imuz
  • Score: 0

9:13am Wed 28 Oct 09

AnnoyingLittleB says...

I tried to get myself CRB vetted towards the end of last year as I often get asked to appear at playschools, etc., as Father Xmas. Watford Police said that I could not "vet myself", it had to be someone who "employs" me.
So, how are these parents going to be able to take their kids down the park?
I tried to get myself CRB vetted towards the end of last year as I often get asked to appear at playschools, etc., as Father Xmas. Watford Police said that I could not "vet myself", it had to be someone who "employs" me. So, how are these parents going to be able to take their kids down the park? AnnoyingLittleB
  • Score: 0

9:21am Wed 28 Oct 09

smoss77 says...

i use harwoods apg on a regular basis,there has been no face to face meeting with parents to my knowledge.if i am going to take my 12 and 9 yr olds to the apg i would like to be able to go myself just to overlook,not overide staff,the fact i have 2 under 5s aswell though means i would not be able to do this anymore.surely parents that want to stay are just being responsible.its a sad day when all your children cannot be in one place with their parents for some quality playtime.
i use harwoods apg on a regular basis,there has been no face to face meeting with parents to my knowledge.if i am going to take my 12 and 9 yr olds to the apg i would like to be able to go myself just to overlook,not overide staff,the fact i have 2 under 5s aswell though means i would not be able to do this anymore.surely parents that want to stay are just being responsible.its a sad day when all your children cannot be in one place with their parents for some quality playtime. smoss77
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Wed 28 Oct 09

curly62 says...

I have started a facebook group to fight back against these overbearing authorities. Join now the group is called 'Parents need more trust and respect from the authorities'
I have started a facebook group to fight back against these overbearing authorities. Join now the group is called 'Parents need more trust and respect from the authorities' curly62
  • Score: 0

4:01pm Wed 28 Oct 09

Johnjones1959 says...

Now steady on " the main one" my names not John Jones nor John Smith, I'm not a criminal nor do I sneak between the bushes catching glimpses of playgrounds etc, the pear drops and liquorice all-sorts are for personal use only, the binoculars and the camera are strictly for capturing the wild life in Watford, see it's so easy to be brandishes a dodge pot for having the wrong name, carrying sweets and electrical gadgetry, I'm thinking of changing the name to a less conspicuous John Brown, bl00dy PC brigade gone barmy.....
Now steady on " the main one" my names not John Jones nor John Smith, I'm not a criminal nor do I sneak between the bushes catching glimpses of playgrounds etc, the pear drops and liquorice all-sorts are for personal use only, the binoculars and the camera are strictly for capturing the wild life in Watford, see it's so easy to be brandishes a dodge pot for having the wrong name, carrying sweets and electrical gadgetry, I'm thinking of changing the name to a less conspicuous John Brown, bl00dy PC brigade gone barmy..... Johnjones1959
  • Score: 0

4:54pm Wed 28 Oct 09

imuz says...

Just when you thought the world we live in couldnt get any more ridiculous. Do the people that make these decisions not have children? Do they not realise how ridiculous this decision is?!?
Just when you thought the world we live in couldnt get any more ridiculous. Do the people that make these decisions not have children? Do they not realise how ridiculous this decision is?!? imuz
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Wed 28 Oct 09

Dr C Hunk says...

What worries me is the number of 'reporters' hanging around play areas these days. Are these guys CRB checked? This guy looks like he may not pass.
What worries me is the number of 'reporters' hanging around play areas these days. Are these guys CRB checked? This guy looks like he may not pass. Dr C Hunk
  • Score: 0

5:02pm Wed 28 Oct 09

davidvaughan says...

Mr Jeffery,

It's very simple. The park doesn't belong to you.

It belongs to the people.

That means it belongs to the parents who pay your wages.

Please encourage your colleagues to remember this basic fact.
Mr Jeffery, It's very simple. The park doesn't belong to you. It belongs to the people. That means it belongs to the parents who pay your wages. Please encourage your colleagues to remember this basic fact. davidvaughan
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Wed 28 Oct 09

Intrigued says...

Oh dear, Dotty and her cabal shoot themselves in the foot once more. This time it has some national attention:
http://www.thesun.co
.uk/sol/homepage/new
s/2703465/Parent-fur
y-over-playground-ba
n.html

She claims to have great 'listening skills' e.g. the Market debacle. Will these come into force again?
Oh dear, Dotty and her cabal shoot themselves in the foot once more. This time it has some national attention: http://www.thesun.co .uk/sol/homepage/new s/2703465/Parent-fur y-over-playground-ba n.html She claims to have great 'listening skills' e.g. the Market debacle. Will these come into force again? Intrigued
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Wed 28 Oct 09

mummy_1 says...

I was told a few weeks ago by a staff member that the reason adults would no longer be permitted was as the result of a 'childrens' survey.

Apparantly children indicated that the adverture play area was as near as they get to freedom in the great outdoors in this modern world.

If this is the case how come all of us parents who take our our children there were not given the opportunity to represent our children.

Produce the surveys and tell the truth or get your stories straight.
I was told a few weeks ago by a staff member that the reason adults would no longer be permitted was as the result of a 'childrens' survey. Apparantly children indicated that the adverture play area was as near as they get to freedom in the great outdoors in this modern world. If this is the case how come all of us parents who take our our children there were not given the opportunity to represent our children. Produce the surveys and tell the truth or get your stories straight. mummy_1
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Wed 28 Oct 09

CallowlandChris says...

Wait a minute. You can't have it both ways - everytime anything happens with crime against children, the Daily Mail etc explode in a sea of outrage that we need more protection against child molesters. Then when the government introduces laws to protect children people explode with rage that its an invasion of privacy!

If your angry, yous lot should be having a go at the Daily Mail/ Daily Express/ Sun etc for making this an issue in the first place. It's certainly not the Council's fault if they apply the law HANDED DOWN TO THEM FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT!

As the council bloke says, these are play spaces specifically for children of a certain age - they are fenced off and staffed. They are not normal public parks at all. It's like ranting about access rights to an ice skating rink. If the play areas didn't have dedicated staff then this might actually be a news story.

Interesting to note that the most angry posters below this story were advocating the BNP the other day on another news story. If only the BNP were running things then 'Big Willie' et al would be happy 'cos they would be able to shoot all those people what look like pedos with their automatic rifle (mandatory under a BNP Govt!). We wouldnt need CRB checks as mob rule would solve all our problems. God help us...

Incidentally ''mum of 8'' - if she spent more time thinking about how overpopulated the world is and less time whinging about non-storys like this, then perhaps those play staff wouldnt be so overburdened with children to control!
Wait a minute. You can't have it both ways - everytime anything happens with crime against children, the Daily Mail etc explode in a sea of outrage that we need more protection against child molesters. Then when the government introduces laws to protect children people explode with rage that its an invasion of privacy! If your angry, yous lot should be having a go at the Daily Mail/ Daily Express/ Sun etc for making this an issue in the first place. It's certainly not the Council's fault if they apply the law HANDED DOWN TO THEM FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT! As the council bloke says, these are play spaces specifically for children of a certain age - they are fenced off and staffed. They are not normal public parks at all. It's like ranting about access rights to an ice skating rink. If the play areas didn't have dedicated staff then this might actually be a news story. Interesting to note that the most angry posters below this story were advocating the BNP the other day on another news story. If only the BNP were running things then 'Big Willie' et al would be happy 'cos they would be able to shoot all those people what look like pedos with their automatic rifle (mandatory under a BNP Govt!). We wouldnt need CRB checks as mob rule would solve all our problems. God help us... Incidentally ''mum of 8'' - if she spent more time thinking about how overpopulated the world is and less time whinging about non-storys like this, then perhaps those play staff wouldnt be so overburdened with children to control! CallowlandChris
  • Score: 0

7:07am Thu 29 Oct 09

crazyfrog says...

CallowlandChris wrote:
Wait a minute. You can't have it both ways - everytime anything happens with crime against children, the Daily Mail etc explode in a sea of outrage that we need more protection against child molesters. Then when the government introduces laws to protect children people explode with rage that its an invasion of privacy! If your angry, yous lot should be having a go at the Daily Mail/ Daily Express/ Sun etc for making this an issue in the first place. It's certainly not the Council's fault if they apply the law HANDED DOWN TO THEM FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT! As the council bloke says, these are play spaces specifically for children of a certain age - they are fenced off and staffed. They are not normal public parks at all. It's like ranting about access rights to an ice skating rink. If the play areas didn't have dedicated staff then this might actually be a news story. Interesting to note that the most angry posters below this story were advocating the BNP the other day on another news story. If only the BNP were running things then 'Big Willie' et al would be happy 'cos they would be able to shoot all those people what look like pedos with their automatic rifle (mandatory under a BNP Govt!). We wouldnt need CRB checks as mob rule would solve all our problems. God help us... Incidentally ''mum of 8'' - if she spent more time thinking about how overpopulated the world is and less time whinging about non-storys like this, then perhaps those play staff wouldnt be so overburdened with children to control!
"It's certainly not the Council's fault if they apply the law HANDED DOWN TO THEM FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT!"

see there you go again its not LAW its only central government policy!!

well done david vaughan a very good response indeed it is the taxpayers facility ! hey watford council have an online poll and introduce the results i think you will find youy out of touch with the local taxpayer!
if a parent wants to visit with their children and signs in whats the problem?
[quote][p][bold]CallowlandChris[/bold] wrote: Wait a minute. You can't have it both ways - everytime anything happens with crime against children, the Daily Mail etc explode in a sea of outrage that we need more protection against child molesters. Then when the government introduces laws to protect children people explode with rage that its an invasion of privacy! If your angry, yous lot should be having a go at the Daily Mail/ Daily Express/ Sun etc for making this an issue in the first place. It's certainly not the Council's fault if they apply the law HANDED DOWN TO THEM FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT! As the council bloke says, these are play spaces specifically for children of a certain age - they are fenced off and staffed. They are not normal public parks at all. It's like ranting about access rights to an ice skating rink. If the play areas didn't have dedicated staff then this might actually be a news story. Interesting to note that the most angry posters below this story were advocating the BNP the other day on another news story. If only the BNP were running things then 'Big Willie' et al would be happy 'cos they would be able to shoot all those people what look like pedos with their automatic rifle (mandatory under a BNP Govt!). We wouldnt need CRB checks as mob rule would solve all our problems. God help us... Incidentally ''mum of 8'' - if she spent more time thinking about how overpopulated the world is and less time whinging about non-storys like this, then perhaps those play staff wouldnt be so overburdened with children to control![/p][/quote]"It's certainly not the Council's fault if they apply the law HANDED DOWN TO THEM FROM CENTRAL GOVERNMENT!" see there you go again its not LAW its only central government policy!! well done david vaughan a very good response indeed it is the taxpayers facility ! hey watford council have an online poll and introduce the results i think you will find youy out of touch with the local taxpayer! if a parent wants to visit with their children and signs in whats the problem? crazyfrog
  • Score: 0

7:25am Thu 29 Oct 09

KNorman says...

Completely typical of the current climate where parents are all assumed to be abusers.
We have mean meaning to go, but now it is out of the question.
This Government's policies seem determined to undermine family life at every step. With the vetting and barring, banning parents from looking after each others children, and plans to interview home educated children as young as 5 alone (up until now reserved for abuse victims or those suspected of crimes).
Please, please, please - give some support to families. Parents and children must be encouraged to spend time playing together.
Young children and those with special needs especially need parental help settling in somewhere new. Parents need to be able to see how their children are getting on in a new environment before leaving them. It should be up to children to say if and when they want to be left alone.
Completely typical of the current climate where parents are all assumed to be abusers. We have mean meaning to go, but now it is out of the question. This Government's policies seem determined to undermine family life at every step. With the vetting and barring, banning parents from looking after each others children, and plans to interview home educated children as young as 5 alone (up until now reserved for abuse victims or those suspected of crimes). Please, please, please - give some support to families. Parents and children must be encouraged to spend time playing together. Young children and those with special needs especially need parental help settling in somewhere new. Parents need to be able to see how their children are getting on in a new environment before leaving them. It should be up to children to say if and when they want to be left alone. KNorman
  • Score: 0

10:13am Thu 29 Oct 09

kittencat says...

Firstly the Mayor is up for re election next year, I certainly know who I will not be voting for.
Then I was under the belief that the new guidelines set out by the Government were there for parents that wish to help out at their local children's football team, rugby club, brownies, etc etc where they would actually be coaching / helping other peoples children. Taking your own children to an adventure playground is not coaching or helping other children.
And yes i do want to spend time with my children, I do work and the time that is available when they are not at school I will take them to play football or to the park etc etc

I do feel a council officer has gone a little OTT on this, don't forget Harwoods and Harebreaks are by no means a nursery or playgroup, they have been open many years and have acted as a important point of the local community and support for parents with children of many ages. I completely understand that the general public can not just wander in (the ones without children). But myself as a parent find the playgrounds to have been a support for myself.
As Mark Jefferies points out there are many other places in Watford I can go, yes I am sure there are and i do visit many other places but firstly Ive paid for these playgrounds through my council tax and know of very good friends that orginally built many of the structures still seen today! The Sure Start centres are fantastic, however these are really for the little ones / toddlers, I still need the support for when my child is 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 etc and that support comes from local community meeting points namely Harebreaks and Harwoods.
My final point I would like to conclude that if we start on these facilities where do we stop, parents regulary frequent other venues children go to:- swimming pools, ice rinks, cinemas (and its dark in their) bowling alleys, soft plays, parks, leisure centres, community centres, etc etc. Dorothy please contact Ofsted etc and obtain the correct advice on this issue.
Firstly the Mayor is up for re election next year, I certainly know who I will not be voting for. Then I was under the belief that the new guidelines set out by the Government were there for parents that wish to help out at their local children's football team, rugby club, brownies, etc etc where they would actually be coaching / helping other peoples children. Taking your own children to an adventure playground is not coaching or helping other children. And yes i do want to spend time with my children, I do work and the time that is available when they are not at school I will take them to play football or to the park etc etc I do feel a council officer has gone a little OTT on this, don't forget Harwoods and Harebreaks are by no means a nursery or playgroup, they have been open many years and have acted as a important point of the local community and support for parents with children of many ages. I completely understand that the general public can not just wander in (the ones without children). But myself as a parent find the playgrounds to have been a support for myself. As Mark Jefferies points out there are many other places in Watford I can go, yes I am sure there are and i do visit many other places but firstly Ive paid for these playgrounds through my council tax and know of very good friends that orginally built many of the structures still seen today! The Sure Start centres are fantastic, however these are really for the little ones / toddlers, I still need the support for when my child is 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 etc and that support comes from local community meeting points namely Harebreaks and Harwoods. My final point I would like to conclude that if we start on these facilities where do we stop, parents regulary frequent other venues children go to:- swimming pools, ice rinks, cinemas (and its dark in their) bowling alleys, soft plays, parks, leisure centres, community centres, etc etc. Dorothy please contact Ofsted etc and obtain the correct advice on this issue. kittencat
  • Score: 0

10:52am Thu 29 Oct 09

Steve, Abbots Langley says...

This is all down to the Lib Dems. They don't have to do it they just are. Mayor Thornhill and her cabal are out of control.
This is all down to the Lib Dems. They don't have to do it they just are. Mayor Thornhill and her cabal are out of control. Steve, Abbots Langley
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Thu 29 Oct 09

bomber18 says...

I've long thought that Dottie has become pxxxxd with power,now I think she has completely lost her marbles.
I've long thought that Dottie has become pxxxxd with power,now I think she has completely lost her marbles. bomber18
  • Score: 0

12:24pm Thu 29 Oct 09

Andrew1963 says...

It would be interesting if Mark Jefferies confirmed how many unsupervised play areas have been closed down and removed since 2002. OXhey Grange (Watford Heath) had its play equipment ripped out and Oxhey Park is devoid too. That leaves just two out of the previous 4 locations in Oxhey with play equipment. Other parts of the town may have had similar experiences
It would be interesting if Mark Jefferies confirmed how many unsupervised play areas have been closed down and removed since 2002. OXhey Grange (Watford Heath) had its play equipment ripped out and Oxhey Park is devoid too. That leaves just two out of the previous 4 locations in Oxhey with play equipment. Other parts of the town may have had similar experiences Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Thu 29 Oct 09

Andrew1963 says...

I hjave just read the Council website. The Mayor has created this story by making inappropriate comments about government policy and the current climate. This ios actually nothing to do with it. It is simply that the management of two adventure playgrounds have pointed out that they are not open to anyone over the age of 15. I think that has been the case for 30 years, ever since the two playgrounds opened. Frankly if the Mayor had said that instead of floundering and trying to distance herself from rthe management policy of the council, this would never have become a story.
I hjave just read the Council website. The Mayor has created this story by making inappropriate comments about government policy and the current climate. This ios actually nothing to do with it. It is simply that the management of two adventure playgrounds have pointed out that they are not open to anyone over the age of 15. I think that has been the case for 30 years, ever since the two playgrounds opened. Frankly if the Mayor had said that instead of floundering and trying to distance herself from rthe management policy of the council, this would never have become a story. Andrew1963
  • Score: 0

1:50pm Thu 29 Oct 09

The Not-so-enlightened one says...

Ok, so with my tongue firmly in my cheek, how about turning this on it's head? Leave your children at the play areas under the supervision of the "play rangers", holding them personally responsible for your childs safety. Then sue the council for every penny they've got when your child is injured/bullied/upse
t. That would bring home to dopey Dottie and her cronies just how misguided a policy this is, whether central government or local authority.
It also seems to fly in the face of encouraging children to be more active and the attempts to reverse the growing trend in childhood obesity. Some children would not want to be there without their parents or to be left with strangers, no matter how well they're vetted.
The "no over fifteens" policy is there to stop "oversize" children (i.e. those to big for the equipment or too big to mix with smaller children) from using the playgrounds, not to exclude parents!
Ok, so with my tongue firmly in my cheek, how about turning this on it's head? Leave your children at the play areas under the supervision of the "play rangers", holding them personally responsible for your childs safety. Then sue the council for every penny they've got when your child is injured/bullied/upse t. That would bring home to dopey Dottie and her cronies just how misguided a policy this is, whether central government or local authority. It also seems to fly in the face of encouraging children to be more active and the attempts to reverse the growing trend in childhood obesity. Some children would not want to be there without their parents or to be left with strangers, no matter how well they're vetted. The "no over fifteens" policy is there to stop "oversize" children (i.e. those to big for the equipment or too big to mix with smaller children) from using the playgrounds, not to exclude parents! The Not-so-enlightened one
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Thu 29 Oct 09

-=www=- says...

Congratulations to Watford council: your stupidity has now gone global at one of the world's most read blogs.

See http://www.boingboin
g.net/2009/10/28/cou
ncil-bans-parents.ht
ml
Congratulations to Watford council: your stupidity has now gone global at one of the world's most read blogs. See http://www.boingboin g.net/2009/10/28/cou ncil-bans-parents.ht ml -=www=-
  • Score: 0

3:34pm Thu 29 Oct 09

ronb999 says...

The police can not do CRB checks at the request of individuals - they have to be requested by employers or 3rd parties. Watford Council could ask for CRB checks on consenting worried parents to enable them to be with their children (at the Council's expense of course).
Ofsted state that that CRB checks are meant only for adults WORKING with children, and that their policies are NOT meant to prevent parents & carers from being with their children.
The Council is making itself a laughing stock with their over-rigid implelentation of Govt policy.
The police can not do CRB checks at the request of individuals - they have to be requested by employers or 3rd parties. Watford Council could ask for CRB checks on consenting worried parents to enable them to be with their children (at the Council's expense of course). Ofsted state that that CRB checks are meant only for adults WORKING with children, and that their policies are NOT meant to prevent parents & carers from being with their children. The Council is making itself a laughing stock with their over-rigid implelentation of Govt policy. ronb999
  • Score: 0

6:41pm Thu 29 Oct 09

andyandyandy says...

Dotty. you are a Moron resign NOW !!
Dotty. you are a Moron resign NOW !! andyandyandy
  • Score: 0

6:55pm Thu 29 Oct 09

Jeff Waltham says...

This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?
This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour? Jeff Waltham
  • Score: 0

8:39pm Thu 29 Oct 09

bomber18 says...

andyandyandy wrote:
Dotty. you are a Moron resign NOW !!
What and give up nearly 90k coming into the household on top of her million pound pension fund,paid for by us.A true shrewd northerner.
[quote][p][bold]andyandyandy[/bold] wrote: Dotty. you are a Moron resign NOW !![/p][/quote]What and give up nearly 90k coming into the household on top of her million pound pension fund,paid for by us.A true shrewd northerner. bomber18
  • Score: 0

8:47pm Thu 29 Oct 09

Accurate newsman says...

The reason for all this INCORRECTLY IMPLEMENTED procedure is due to the tragic Soham murders where Ian Huntley "slipped through the net". It's now all getting out of hand. Under the new not yet fully implemented Vetting & Barring Procedures parents in play area's do not have to be vetted. Clearly Watford council is attempting to make Governmet policy look daft.
The reason for all this INCORRECTLY IMPLEMENTED procedure is due to the tragic Soham murders where Ian Huntley "slipped through the net". It's now all getting out of hand. Under the new not yet fully implemented Vetting & Barring Procedures parents in play area's do not have to be vetted. Clearly Watford council is attempting to make Governmet policy look daft. Accurate newsman
  • Score: 0

9:22pm Thu 29 Oct 09

Intrigued says...

And these 'play rangers' are paid upto £20k a year simply so that the council can replace parents. Seeing as there are 3 of them, that's £60k a year that could be spent elsewhere: like the Market or on swimming for the elderly... but then Dotty wouldn't have so many cronies to boss around would she? Heaven forbid this money should be spent on residents!
And these 'play rangers' are paid upto £20k a year simply so that the council can replace parents. Seeing as there are 3 of them, that's £60k a year that could be spent elsewhere: like the Market or on swimming for the elderly... but then Dotty wouldn't have so many cronies to boss around would she? Heaven forbid this money should be spent on residents! Intrigued
  • Score: 0

1:51am Fri 30 Oct 09

Veritas says...

you should have seen downhill
Dotty on the news, what a pl0nker.

She came across as a total idi0t.
Find some other lines "damed if you do, damed if you don't" Is that the best you can come up
with? but she never thought her stupid decision would get national attention, don't blame the Government, they only advise.

Since when has Dotty followed anyones advice?

Has she not noticed, she has been to the Harwoods REC, that you can still see inside the REC from behind the fence, so all people have to do is wait in the play area outside and watch their kids from there, and come election time next year, don't vote for the silly mare.

Two terms of Dotty is more that enough, she has cut the playschemes at Chater and Holywell, this Harwoods rec is all that is left in West Watford. Please get rid of her and the post of Elected Mayor so we can use that salary of £66,000 pa to pay for playschemes in West Watford.
you should have seen downhill Dotty on the news, what a pl0nker. She came across as a total idi0t. Find some other lines "damed if you do, damed if you don't" Is that the best you can come up with? but she never thought her stupid decision would get national attention, don't blame the Government, they only advise. Since when has Dotty followed anyones advice? Has she not noticed, she has been to the Harwoods REC, that you can still see inside the REC from behind the fence, so all people have to do is wait in the play area outside and watch their kids from there, and come election time next year, don't vote for the silly mare. Two terms of Dotty is more that enough, she has cut the playschemes at Chater and Holywell, this Harwoods rec is all that is left in West Watford. Please get rid of her and the post of Elected Mayor so we can use that salary of £66,000 pa to pay for playschemes in West Watford. Veritas
  • Score: 0

11:12am Fri 30 Oct 09

The Eye of Mordor says...

Dotty Dorothy has even made it to one of the biggest websites in the U.S !! Thanks for disgracing the town in the eyes of the entire world !!

http://www.infowars.
com/brit-parents-wit
hout-criminal-backgr
ound-check-banned-fr
om-taking-kids-to-pl
aygrounds/
Dotty Dorothy has even made it to one of the biggest websites in the U.S !! Thanks for disgracing the town in the eyes of the entire world !! http://www.infowars. com/brit-parents-wit hout-criminal-backgr ound-check-banned-fr om-taking-kids-to-pl aygrounds/ The Eye of Mordor
  • Score: 0

2:32pm Fri 30 Oct 09

the main one says...

Dotty Dorothy did look stupid on the 6'o clock news, especially when the report cut out!!! He-he!!!

A child is safest with their parents, end of story!!!

I agree with The Not-so-enlightened one, let the park rangers take full responsibility for this, and when something goes wrong sue the crap of them and the council.

Problem is, the UK public voted in these prats that govern us, so the only solution is to vote them out at the first opportunity.

Time for a revolt I think... how much more are these prats going to try and rule our lives.

Maybe they are considering 'bed rangers' to protect sleeping children from their parents as well!!!! STUPID, I KNOW, but hey, you already can't go to the rec with your own child, so maybe it's not that stupid after all.
Dotty Dorothy did look stupid on the 6'o clock news, especially when the report cut out!!! He-he!!! A child is safest with their parents, end of story!!! I agree with The Not-so-enlightened one, let the park rangers take full responsibility for this, and when something goes wrong sue the crap of them and the council. Problem is, the UK public voted in these prats that govern us, so the only solution is to vote them out at the first opportunity. Time for a revolt I think... how much more are these prats going to try and rule our lives. Maybe they are considering 'bed rangers' to protect sleeping children from their parents as well!!!! STUPID, I KNOW, but hey, you already can't go to the rec with your own child, so maybe it's not that stupid after all. the main one
  • Score: 0

3:15pm Fri 30 Oct 09

Italy71 says...

Jeff Waltham wrote:
This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?
They don't have the authority, that's why if a parent has dropped off their child, and that child then tries to leave the site, staff contact the parent to check if that is ok or get their authority to stop them leaving. More often than not the children do as they have been told by their parents and stay on site, and don't try to leave.
[quote][p][bold]Jeff Waltham[/bold] wrote: This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?[/p][/quote]They don't have the authority, that's why if a parent has dropped off their child, and that child then tries to leave the site, staff contact the parent to check if that is ok or get their authority to stop them leaving. More often than not the children do as they have been told by their parents and stay on site, and don't try to leave. Italy71
  • Score: 0

5:13pm Fri 30 Oct 09

melee says...

I'm not local to Watford but I'm appalled at the thought that this sort of thing could spread to the rest of the country. I have a 9 year old son with ASD who is non-verbal, and has learning difficulties. He loves playgrounds but there is no way I could 'drop him off' and leave him. I doubt very much that the 'staff' would be prepared to be responsible for his safety so that will be another activity he is unable to access. I would imagine there are a great many other children in the same situation.
I'm not local to Watford but I'm appalled at the thought that this sort of thing could spread to the rest of the country. I have a 9 year old son with ASD who is non-verbal, and has learning difficulties. He loves playgrounds but there is no way I could 'drop him off' and leave him. I doubt very much that the 'staff' would be prepared to be responsible for his safety so that will be another activity he is unable to access. I would imagine there are a great many other children in the same situation. melee
  • Score: 0

8:56pm Fri 30 Oct 09

curly62 says...

Italy71 wrote:
Jeff Waltham wrote: This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?
They don't have the authority, that's why if a parent has dropped off their child, and that child then tries to leave the site, staff contact the parent to check if that is ok or get their authority to stop them leaving. More often than not the children do as they have been told by their parents and stay on site, and don't try to leave.
Sorry Italy71 but you obviously don't use the Harebreaks centre.I haven't used the Harwoods Rd one but I've been to the Harebreaks WITH my kids lots of times. 1) Many kids are not dropped off, they make their own way there as parents are working, don't bother etc. 2) No attempt has ever been made to stop a child leaving when I have been there. The gate and front door are left wide open and children come and go as they please - straight onto Leggats way to play with the traffic if they want to! 3) I left one of my sons there once with a friend whilst I went shopping. When I returned about 1 hour later, they were in the adjoining park as the scheme had closed for lunch and they had been turfed out. They were 10 years old. No attempt was made to contact either parent although long and tortuous forms have to be filled in every year with at least 3 contact numbers.
I notice from a post above that this rule has been brought in as a result of a survey of the children. Why didn't Dottie mention this? If there was a survey, none of the children I know has been asked their opinion. If any were asked, it was probably the half-feral kids that spend all their time there as they have no homes to go to. They don't want anyone elses parents there as they can't get away with bullying and swearing at the little kids.
Dottie has made this town a laughing stock - remember that when it comes round to voting time.
[quote][p][bold]Italy71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jeff Waltham[/bold] wrote: This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?[/p][/quote]They don't have the authority, that's why if a parent has dropped off their child, and that child then tries to leave the site, staff contact the parent to check if that is ok or get their authority to stop them leaving. More often than not the children do as they have been told by their parents and stay on site, and don't try to leave.[/p][/quote]Sorry Italy71 but you obviously don't use the Harebreaks centre.I haven't used the Harwoods Rd one but I've been to the Harebreaks WITH my kids lots of times. 1) Many kids are not dropped off, they make their own way there as parents are working, don't bother etc. 2) No attempt has ever been made to stop a child leaving when I have been there. The gate and front door are left wide open and children come and go as they please - straight onto Leggats way to play with the traffic if they want to! 3) I left one of my sons there once with a friend whilst I went shopping. When I returned about 1 hour later, they were in the adjoining park as the scheme had closed for lunch and they had been turfed out. They were 10 years old. No attempt was made to contact either parent although long and tortuous forms have to be filled in every year with at least 3 contact numbers. I notice from a post above that this rule has been brought in as a result of a survey of the children. Why didn't Dottie mention this? If there was a survey, none of the children I know has been asked their opinion. If any were asked, it was probably the half-feral kids that spend all their time there as they have no homes to go to. They don't want anyone elses parents there as they can't get away with bullying and swearing at the little kids. Dottie has made this town a laughing stock - remember that when it comes round to voting time. curly62
  • Score: 0

11:15pm Fri 30 Oct 09

George CA Talbot says...

Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? It seems government supposes adults are dangerous until proved safe! And what about the children, shouldn’t they be checked?

From 12th October, the Independent Safeguarding Authority started checking even self referrals “to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.” See http://www.isa-gov.o
rg.uk/.

I blame reforms that have weakened discipline and deterrence. Over decades, many offences and imprisonment have increase hugely. Now help with needs, management and risk assessment are preferred. I am reminded of George Orwell’s Big Brother!
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? It seems government supposes adults are dangerous until proved safe! And what about the children, shouldn’t they be checked? From 12th October, the Independent Safeguarding Authority started checking even self referrals “to help prevent unsuitable people from working with children and vulnerable adults.” See http://www.isa-gov.o rg.uk/. I blame reforms that have weakened discipline and deterrence. Over decades, many offences and imprisonment have increase hugely. Now help with needs, management and risk assessment are preferred. I am reminded of George Orwell’s Big Brother! George CA Talbot
  • Score: 0

11:16am Sat 31 Oct 09

mummy_1 says...

curly62 wrote:
Italy71 wrote:
Jeff Waltham wrote: This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?
They don't have the authority, that's why if a parent has dropped off their child, and that child then tries to leave the site, staff contact the parent to check if that is ok or get their authority to stop them leaving. More often than not the children do as they have been told by their parents and stay on site, and don't try to leave.
Sorry Italy71 but you obviously don't use the Harebreaks centre.I haven't used the Harwoods Rd one but I've been to the Harebreaks WITH my kids lots of times. 1) Many kids are not dropped off, they make their own way there as parents are working, don't bother etc. 2) No attempt has ever been made to stop a child leaving when I have been there. The gate and front door are left wide open and children come and go as they please - straight onto Leggats way to play with the traffic if they want to! 3) I left one of my sons there once with a friend whilst I went shopping. When I returned about 1 hour later, they were in the adjoining park as the scheme had closed for lunch and they had been turfed out. They were 10 years old. No attempt was made to contact either parent although long and tortuous forms have to be filled in every year with at least 3 contact numbers. I notice from a post above that this rule has been brought in as a result of a survey of the children. Why didn't Dottie mention this? If there was a survey, none of the children I know has been asked their opinion. If any were asked, it was probably the half-feral kids that spend all their time there as they have no homes to go to. They don't want anyone elses parents there as they can't get away with bullying and swearing at the little kids. Dottie has made this town a laughing stock - remember that when it comes round to voting time.
You are correct. I was told by the same member of staff who told me about the results of the 'survey' that they did not have the authority to stop children leaving the site. So how can the rangers be responsible or accountable for the children?

And if there are only 3 rangers, and a child does decided to leave, does 1 ranger leave all of the other kids unattended to while trying to 'stop' a child from leaving? None of this has not been thought through?

Can anyone from local authority challange, confirm or deny a survey took place and therefore produce a copy or the results /feed-back in next weeks Watford Observer? I bet they cannot!
[quote][p][bold]curly62[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Italy71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jeff Waltham[/bold] wrote: This truly is a ridiculous move. If I am not mistaken, these "play rangers" do NOT have the authority to stop these "supervised" children from leaving the park directly onto a very busy, dangerous road! While I see their reasoning behind the decision, it really does send out a poor message. To cater for this, are they going to erect a waiting area for the parents so they can view the park to ensure that the rangers do not let their kids play with the rush hour?[/p][/quote]They don't have the authority, that's why if a parent has dropped off their child, and that child then tries to leave the site, staff contact the parent to check if that is ok or get their authority to stop them leaving. More often than not the children do as they have been told by their parents and stay on site, and don't try to leave.[/p][/quote]Sorry Italy71 but you obviously don't use the Harebreaks centre.I haven't used the Harwoods Rd one but I've been to the Harebreaks WITH my kids lots of times. 1) Many kids are not dropped off, they make their own way there as parents are working, don't bother etc. 2) No attempt has ever been made to stop a child leaving when I have been there. The gate and front door are left wide open and children come and go as they please - straight onto Leggats way to play with the traffic if they want to! 3) I left one of my sons there once with a friend whilst I went shopping. When I returned about 1 hour later, they were in the adjoining park as the scheme had closed for lunch and they had been turfed out. They were 10 years old. No attempt was made to contact either parent although long and tortuous forms have to be filled in every year with at least 3 contact numbers. I notice from a post above that this rule has been brought in as a result of a survey of the children. Why didn't Dottie mention this? If there was a survey, none of the children I know has been asked their opinion. If any were asked, it was probably the half-feral kids that spend all their time there as they have no homes to go to. They don't want anyone elses parents there as they can't get away with bullying and swearing at the little kids. Dottie has made this town a laughing stock - remember that when it comes round to voting time.[/p][/quote]You are correct. I was told by the same member of staff who told me about the results of the 'survey' that they did not have the authority to stop children leaving the site. So how can the rangers be responsible or accountable for the children? And if there are only 3 rangers, and a child does decided to leave, does 1 ranger leave all of the other kids unattended to while trying to 'stop' a child from leaving? None of this has not been thought through? Can anyone from local authority challange, confirm or deny a survey took place and therefore produce a copy or the results /feed-back in next weeks Watford Observer? I bet they cannot! mummy_1
  • Score: 0

8:00pm Sat 31 Oct 09

Veritas says...

First since when did they get permission to survey the kids without the parents help/consent?

Finally Dotty is being exposed for her supposed "surveys." Now we get to examine how she came to this decision, we will see all the contadictions, why could she not leave things as they were?

As usual the arrogant so and so thinks we are all wrong, good thing she was on national TV for all too see her make a total fool of herself and still fudge the questions.

Dotty as usual, has not thought things through properly and hides behind her "surveys." The only good thing for us, is that she has taken responsibility for this fiasco
and on TV, so she is not going to
get out of this one , and when the parents send in their petition/complaints I hope we can finally get her to resign(but she won't do the honourable, thing as she is making too much money from us tax payers).

Also please don't get fooled by her recent "consultations" with the people of Watford, this is so she can blame us for all the bad decisions she has made.
First since when did they get permission to survey the kids without the parents help/consent? Finally Dotty is being exposed for her supposed "surveys." Now we get to examine how she came to this decision, we will see all the contadictions, why could she not leave things as they were? As usual the arrogant so and so thinks we are all wrong, good thing she was on national TV for all too see her make a total fool of herself and still fudge the questions. Dotty as usual, has not thought things through properly and hides behind her "surveys." The only good thing for us, is that she has taken responsibility for this fiasco and on TV, so she is not going to get out of this one , and when the parents send in their petition/complaints I hope we can finally get her to resign(but she won't do the honourable, thing as she is making too much money from us tax payers). Also please don't get fooled by her recent "consultations" with the people of Watford, this is so she can blame us for all the bad decisions she has made. Veritas
  • Score: 0

10:39pm Sat 31 Oct 09

mummy_1 says...

Any further comment Mr Mark Jeffrey on the 'survey'?

Unfortunatley (thanks to a poor, poor decision which has made National news) every unsavioury character in the UK knows where vunerable children (between 5 and 15 can be found).

The Harebreaks site was never an appropriate location to allow children from 5 years old to be unaccompanyed accountable adult.

WBC will not allow my child who is under 8 years old to go swimming in any of the boroughs pools, alone, even though he is a strong swimmer, there are life guards present, (and I have asked him not to get into difficulty). What is the difference?

If they surveyed WBC staff as to whether they would be happy to leave their primary aged school children to the mercy of the busy road outside the play area, the wooded area surrounding it or any undisirable who knew where vunrable children could be found, I am sure the feedback would have been worrying.

If either of these play areas were on The Cassiobury Estate, Tudor Estate or Brickwood (or in Dotties neighbourhood),the decision would never have been made. Our kids do not seem to matter and that makes me feel sad.
Any further comment Mr Mark Jeffrey on the 'survey'? Unfortunatley (thanks to a poor, poor decision which has made National news) every unsavioury character in the UK knows where vunerable children (between 5 and 15 can be found). The Harebreaks site was never an appropriate location to allow children from 5 years old to be unaccompanyed accountable adult. WBC will not allow my child who is under 8 years old to go swimming in any of the boroughs pools, alone, even though he is a strong swimmer, there are life guards present, (and I have asked him not to get into difficulty). What is the difference? If they surveyed WBC staff as to whether they would be happy to leave their primary aged school children to the mercy of the busy road outside the play area, the wooded area surrounding it or any undisirable who knew where vunrable children could be found, I am sure the feedback would have been worrying. If either of these play areas were on The Cassiobury Estate, Tudor Estate or Brickwood (or in Dotties neighbourhood),the decision would never have been made. Our kids do not seem to matter and that makes me feel sad. mummy_1
  • Score: 0

2:51am Sun 1 Nov 09

Veritas says...

I could not agree with you more.
Mum1

Don't feel sad, feel mad at the old Mare , she is so cunning and patronising it is no joke.

She cuts services etc, yet her salary is over £70,000 pa, when the mayor in three rivers Ann Shaw gets only £25,000. What about all the money councillors get, we need to get rid of a few of them and spend the money on the community, between her and the numpty Sharpe they collect nearly £100,000 pa from us, how did we ever let that happen?

Also there are no playschemes in West Watford anymore, funny that but there is one on the cassiobury!

It's time the petition was started to get rid of Dotty, shame they did not add that into the the market petition.

I could not agree with you more. Mum1 Don't feel sad, feel mad at the old Mare , she is so cunning and patronising it is no joke. She cuts services etc, yet her salary is over £70,000 pa, when the mayor in three rivers Ann Shaw gets only £25,000. What about all the money councillors get, we need to get rid of a few of them and spend the money on the community, between her and the numpty Sharpe they collect nearly £100,000 pa from us, how did we ever let that happen? Also there are no playschemes in West Watford anymore, funny that but there is one on the cassiobury! It's time the petition was started to get rid of Dotty, shame they did not add that into the the market petition. Veritas
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Sun 1 Nov 09

mummy_1 says...

Veritas wrote:
I could not agree with you more. Mum1 Don't feel sad, feel mad at the old Mare , she is so cunning and patronising it is no joke. She cuts services etc, yet her salary is over £70,000 pa, when the mayor in three rivers Ann Shaw gets only £25,000. What about all the money councillors get, we need to get rid of a few of them and spend the money on the community, between her and the numpty Sharpe they collect nearly £100,000 pa from us, how did we ever let that happen? Also there are no playschemes in West Watford anymore, funny that but there is one on the cassiobury! It's time the petition was started to get rid of Dotty, shame they did not add that into the the market petition.
Still not word from Mark Jeffrey about the survey. He has gone very quiet all of a sudden.

If as I suspect 'it' never existed, perhaps (when it suddenly does appears) they can add a section for feedback about Dottie, her government and their salaries. Then maybe they can act on our views and sack the lot of them as that seems to be the way decisions are made locally!
[quote][p][bold]Veritas[/bold] wrote: I could not agree with you more. Mum1 Don't feel sad, feel mad at the old Mare , she is so cunning and patronising it is no joke. She cuts services etc, yet her salary is over £70,000 pa, when the mayor in three rivers Ann Shaw gets only £25,000. What about all the money councillors get, we need to get rid of a few of them and spend the money on the community, between her and the numpty Sharpe they collect nearly £100,000 pa from us, how did we ever let that happen? Also there are no playschemes in West Watford anymore, funny that but there is one on the cassiobury! It's time the petition was started to get rid of Dotty, shame they did not add that into the the market petition. [/p][/quote]Still not word from Mark Jeffrey about the survey. He has gone very quiet all of a sudden. If as I suspect 'it' never existed, perhaps (when it suddenly does appears) they can add a section for feedback about Dottie, her government and their salaries. Then maybe they can act on our views and sack the lot of them as that seems to be the way decisions are made locally! mummy_1
  • Score: 0

2:21pm Sun 1 Nov 09

billyjo says...

I would just like to say, it's play workers that supervise the Adventure playgrounds, not the play rangers. The playworkers do an excellent job, however there isn't enough of them on duty during a session. That is why parents, grandparents, etc like to go in with the younger children and most adults only stay for about one hour after the children come out of school. In the 32 yrs that Harwoods APG has been open, it has always made parents welcome. I would also like to say this is an open access service, not a closed one, children can come and GO as they please.
Play rangers are something completely different, they work with children in the open parks.
I would just like to say, it's play workers that supervise the Adventure playgrounds, not the play rangers. The playworkers do an excellent job, however there isn't enough of them on duty during a session. That is why parents, grandparents, etc like to go in with the younger children and most adults only stay for about one hour after the children come out of school. In the 32 yrs that Harwoods APG has been open, it has always made parents welcome. I would also like to say this is an open access service, not a closed one, children can come and GO as they please. Play rangers are something completely different, they work with children in the open parks. billyjo
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Sun 1 Nov 09

Dara says...

mummy_1 - Well, I can only agree with your sentiments. I really do. but I fear that you are wanting the world to be as you want it to be, rather than as it is.

You may very well be happy for your child to go swimming unsupervised - more power to you. But we live in a world of compensation culture, of no-win-no-fee lawyers who are on the make and on the take and a world where insurance payment increases are not a marginal issue in making decisions.

Do parents (and, for that matter Council Tax payers) want this level of hyper-caution?' The cynic in me feels that they want it right up to the point that they don't like it's effects.

The survey can say what it wants to - the costs of litigation RISK (not per se litigation itself) and insurance are not going to be surveyed away, nor will the compensation culture vanish because of internet hissy-fits. One could reasonably look at the role of journalists in increasing fears too, but that's another story.

Indeed, mummy_1 - by your comment you appear to be endorsing massive restrictions on car transport near children. You will never get that to fly with a lot of the WO chatterati.

Are the Council going a bit OTT here? Probably, but the issues that resulted in this thinking are real and the simplistic commentary on here is holding reality in contempt.

I hate it - the sport club near my work in London had to close because insurance became too high - but pretending that the Council is leading and not responding is glib.

Best wishes.
mummy_1 - Well, I can only agree with your sentiments. I really do. but I fear that you are wanting the world to be as you want it to be, rather than as it is. You may very well be happy for your child to go swimming unsupervised - more power to you. But we live in a world of compensation culture, of no-win-no-fee lawyers who are on the make and on the take and a world where insurance payment increases are not a marginal issue in making decisions. Do parents (and, for that matter Council Tax payers) want this level of hyper-caution?' The cynic in me feels that they want it right up to the point that they don't like it's effects. The survey can say what it wants to - the costs of litigation RISK (not per se litigation itself) and insurance are not going to be surveyed away, nor will the compensation culture vanish because of internet hissy-fits. One could reasonably look at the role of journalists in increasing fears too, but that's another story. Indeed, mummy_1 - by your comment you appear to be endorsing massive restrictions on car transport near children. You will never get that to fly with a lot of the WO chatterati. Are the Council going a bit OTT here? Probably, but the issues that resulted in this thinking are real and the simplistic commentary on here is holding reality in contempt. I hate it - the sport club near my work in London had to close because insurance became too high - but pretending that the Council is leading and not responding is glib. Best wishes. Dara
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Sun 1 Nov 09

mummy_1 says...

Dara wrote:
mummy_1 - Well, I can only agree with your sentiments. I really do. but I fear that you are wanting the world to be as you want it to be, rather than as it is. You may very well be happy for your child to go swimming unsupervised - more power to you. But we live in a world of compensation culture, of no-win-no-fee lawyers who are on the make and on the take and a world where insurance payment increases are not a marginal issue in making decisions. Do parents (and, for that matter Council Tax payers) want this level of hyper-caution?' The cynic in me feels that they want it right up to the point that they don't like it's effects. The survey can say what it wants to - the costs of litigation RISK (not per se litigation itself) and insurance are not going to be surveyed away, nor will the compensation culture vanish because of internet hissy-fits. One could reasonably look at the role of journalists in increasing fears too, but that's another story. Indeed, mummy_1 - by your comment you appear to be endorsing massive restrictions on car transport near children. You will never get that to fly with a lot of the WO chatterati. Are the Council going a bit OTT here? Probably, but the issues that resulted in this thinking are real and the simplistic commentary on here is holding reality in contempt. I hate it - the sport club near my work in London had to close because insurance became too high - but pretending that the Council is leading and not responding is glib. Best wishes.
Sorry Dara

My point reference swimming was just an example of how the council has double standards as NEITHER do I want my primary school aged child to go swmming alone or to be left in at Harebreaks area without an accountable adult.

With reference the traffic, I do not want endorse any restrictions or control traffic around children, I want control of MY CHILDREN in traffic situations I am uncomfortable around.

I beleive there will be a massive U turn on this decision, but by this time 'another survey' will say the play areas are under-used and a big SOLD sign will appear over-night.

More money in the coffers to pay Dottie and co.
[quote][p][bold]Dara[/bold] wrote: mummy_1 - Well, I can only agree with your sentiments. I really do. but I fear that you are wanting the world to be as you want it to be, rather than as it is. You may very well be happy for your child to go swimming unsupervised - more power to you. But we live in a world of compensation culture, of no-win-no-fee lawyers who are on the make and on the take and a world where insurance payment increases are not a marginal issue in making decisions. Do parents (and, for that matter Council Tax payers) want this level of hyper-caution?' The cynic in me feels that they want it right up to the point that they don't like it's effects. The survey can say what it wants to - the costs of litigation RISK (not per se litigation itself) and insurance are not going to be surveyed away, nor will the compensation culture vanish because of internet hissy-fits. One could reasonably look at the role of journalists in increasing fears too, but that's another story. Indeed, mummy_1 - by your comment you appear to be endorsing massive restrictions on car transport near children. You will never get that to fly with a lot of the WO chatterati. Are the Council going a bit OTT here? Probably, but the issues that resulted in this thinking are real and the simplistic commentary on here is holding reality in contempt. I hate it - the sport club near my work in London had to close because insurance became too high - but pretending that the Council is leading and not responding is glib. Best wishes.[/p][/quote]Sorry Dara My point reference swimming was just an example of how the council has double standards as NEITHER do I want my primary school aged child to go swmming alone or to be left in at Harebreaks area without an accountable adult. With reference the traffic, I do not want endorse any restrictions or control traffic around children, I want control of MY CHILDREN in traffic situations I am uncomfortable around. I beleive there will be a massive U turn on this decision, but by this time 'another survey' will say the play areas are under-used and a big SOLD sign will appear over-night. More money in the coffers to pay Dottie and co. mummy_1
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Sun 1 Nov 09

Dara says...

mummy_1 - Apologies, I'm not really sure I know what you are getting at. What is, 'accountable adult?' Someone you can sue?

Sure, you want control of your children, no one is going to disagree there. I think that what this whole debate is about is the cases where you do not have that.

Do you or do you not accept that litigation/insurance considerations are something that the Council has to consider or not?

I agree with your broad points, but you can not in one breath talk about wanting total control and then about 'accountable adults' in the next. I wish the Council could act as though compensation culture is not an issue - it can't and deep down you must know that.

Really, I suspect that we do not disagree, but my feeling is that you are guilty of wanting to treat the world as you want it to be, not as it is. We are getting the play areas we as a society deserve. No internet angst changes that.

Best wishes.
mummy_1 - Apologies, I'm not really sure I know what you are getting at. What is, 'accountable adult?' Someone you can sue? Sure, you want control of your children, no one is going to disagree there. I think that what this whole debate is about is the cases where you do not have that. Do you or do you not accept that litigation/insurance considerations are something that the Council has to consider or not? I agree with your broad points, but you can not in one breath talk about wanting total control and then about 'accountable adults' in the next. I wish the Council could act as though compensation culture is not an issue - it can't and deep down you must know that. Really, I suspect that we do not disagree, but my feeling is that you are guilty of wanting to treat the world as you want it to be, not as it is. We are getting the play areas we as a society deserve. No internet angst changes that. Best wishes. Dara
  • Score: 0

6:00pm Sun 1 Nov 09

mummy_1 says...

Dara wrote:
mummy_1 - Apologies, I'm not really sure I know what you are getting at. What is, 'accountable adult?' Someone you can sue? Sure, you want control of your children, no one is going to disagree there. I think that what this whole debate is about is the cases where you do not have that. Do you or do you not accept that litigation/insurance considerations are something that the Council has to consider or not? I agree with your broad points, but you can not in one breath talk about wanting total control and then about 'accountable adults' in the next. I wish the Council could act as though compensation culture is not an issue - it can't and deep down you must know that. Really, I suspect that we do not disagree, but my feeling is that you are guilty of wanting to treat the world as you want it to be, not as it is. We are getting the play areas we as a society deserve. No internet angst changes that. Best wishes.
Dara

Me! I am 'accountable adult'. I don't want to sue anyone. I want to protect my child!!
[quote][p][bold]Dara[/bold] wrote: mummy_1 - Apologies, I'm not really sure I know what you are getting at. What is, 'accountable adult?' Someone you can sue? Sure, you want control of your children, no one is going to disagree there. I think that what this whole debate is about is the cases where you do not have that. Do you or do you not accept that litigation/insurance considerations are something that the Council has to consider or not? I agree with your broad points, but you can not in one breath talk about wanting total control and then about 'accountable adults' in the next. I wish the Council could act as though compensation culture is not an issue - it can't and deep down you must know that. Really, I suspect that we do not disagree, but my feeling is that you are guilty of wanting to treat the world as you want it to be, not as it is. We are getting the play areas we as a society deserve. No internet angst changes that. Best wishes.[/p][/quote]Dara Me! I am 'accountable adult'. I don't want to sue anyone. I want to protect my child!! mummy_1
  • Score: 0

7:13pm Sun 1 Nov 09

tyrone warner says...

I am really saddened that after all the media attention Dorothy Thornhill can not back down and realise that parents are entitled to stay with their children and be allowed to play with their siblings younger or older.
I have been attending Harwoods with all my children for years and a few have grown up with happy memories.The staff at Harwoods are great and we have a friendly family feel we are all known by them and so are our children.But the lies have never ceased there are few points I would like to make to those people who have implicated these new rules council and Dorothy Thornhill who have never visited on site let me add in the afternoon after school but seem to know what everyone wants through a survey. What survey? Or was that the pretend one they did just like the pretend Ofsted rules. Or was it the few letters that they sent out because I did'nt recieve one I was informed by one of the mums and many of the mums did'nt know until the picture was going to press and were extremely annoyed that it was happening. It was said that they had a meeting with parents to be exact it was two parents that they had a meeting with.We as parents do not hang around we are there to supervise our children.The point is it is not feasible to leave a five,six,seven, year old there staff cannot watch every child and let me add the time they take to phone a parent to tell them their child wants to leave the child could have already slipped out because they are not allowed to stop them physically. Parents do not go every afternoon maybe twice a week so it is not always full with parents or grandparents or childminders every evening we do have other things to do. I want the right to protect my own children thanks while they are having fun.

I am really saddened that after all the media attention Dorothy Thornhill can not back down and realise that parents are entitled to stay with their children and be allowed to play with their siblings younger or older. I have been attending Harwoods with all my children for years and a few have grown up with happy memories.The staff at Harwoods are great and we have a friendly family feel we are all known by them and so are our children.But the lies have never ceased there are few points I would like to make to those people who have implicated these new rules [ie]council and Dorothy Thornhill who have never visited on site let me add in the afternoon after school but seem to know what everyone wants through a survey. What survey? Or was that the pretend one they did just like the pretend Ofsted rules. Or was it the few letters that they sent out because I did'nt recieve one I was informed by one of the mums and many of the mums did'nt know until the picture was going to press and were extremely annoyed that it was happening. It was said that they had a meeting with parents to be exact it was two parents that they had a meeting with.We as parents do not hang around we are there to supervise our children.The point is it is not feasible to leave a five,six,seven, year old there staff cannot watch every child and let me add the time they take to phone a parent to tell them their child wants to leave the child could have already slipped out because they are not allowed to stop them physically. Parents do not go every afternoon maybe twice a week so it is not always full with parents or grandparents or childminders every evening we do have other things to do. I want the right to protect my own children thanks while they are having fun. tyrone warner
  • Score: 0

9:32pm Sun 1 Nov 09

curly62 says...

Veritas wrote:
I could not agree with you more. Mum1 Don't feel sad, feel mad at the old Mare , she is so cunning and patronising it is no joke. She cuts services etc, yet her salary is over £70,000 pa, when the mayor in three rivers Ann Shaw gets only £25,000. What about all the money councillors get, we need to get rid of a few of them and spend the money on the community, between her and the numpty Sharpe they collect nearly £100,000 pa from us, how did we ever let that happen? Also there are no playschemes in West Watford anymore, funny that but there is one on the cassiobury! It's time the petition was started to get rid of Dotty, shame they did not add that into the the market petition.
Sorry Veritas but the Cassiobury one is no longer too! Well, it didn't run this summer and when I enquired why I was told that it was underused. My sons have gone there for the last 10 years and it always ran a waiting list as it was over subscribed, until last Easter. It was open over Easter for the first time that anyone can remember but noone was told about it. No leaflets/posters at the schools and no notices to regular users. It was listed on the Council website though apparently! In the circumstances it was underused because noone knew about it and they used that as an excuse to cancel the summer one. Well done Dorothy for a brilliant bit of subterfuge! Her latest ruse is to write to the complaining parents and lie through her teeth. She claims that parents have never been allowed on Harebreaks site, that the facilities are 'closed like playgroups' and that the reasoning behind the action lies with problems with some parents at Harwoods 'hampering the staff in their supervision of the children'. Make your mind up Dorothy!
[quote][p][bold]Veritas[/bold] wrote: I could not agree with you more. Mum1 Don't feel sad, feel mad at the old Mare , she is so cunning and patronising it is no joke. She cuts services etc, yet her salary is over £70,000 pa, when the mayor in three rivers Ann Shaw gets only £25,000. What about all the money councillors get, we need to get rid of a few of them and spend the money on the community, between her and the numpty Sharpe they collect nearly £100,000 pa from us, how did we ever let that happen? Also there are no playschemes in West Watford anymore, funny that but there is one on the cassiobury! It's time the petition was started to get rid of Dotty, shame they did not add that into the the market petition. [/p][/quote]Sorry Veritas but the Cassiobury one is no longer too! Well, it didn't run this summer and when I enquired why I was told that it was underused. My sons have gone there for the last 10 years and it always ran a waiting list as it was over subscribed, until last Easter. It was open over Easter for the first time that anyone can remember but noone was told about it. No leaflets/posters at the schools and no notices to regular users. It was listed on the Council website though apparently! In the circumstances it was underused because noone knew about it and they used that as an excuse to cancel the summer one. Well done Dorothy for a brilliant bit of subterfuge! Her latest ruse is to write to the complaining parents and lie through her teeth. She claims that parents have never been allowed on Harebreaks site, that the facilities are 'closed like playgroups' and that the reasoning behind the action lies with problems with some parents at Harwoods 'hampering the staff in their supervision of the children'. Make your mind up Dorothy! curly62
  • Score: 0

11:41pm Sun 1 Nov 09

JustPhil says...

Just as DT says we can like it or lump it and clear off somewhere else (or words to that effect), perhaps we can ask the Mayor to resign and go somewhere else herself, and take her loony colleagues with her! Come on Watford, let's elect someone with common sense next time!! Go on DT, do the decent thing for once and go now. Time for a change. As Doctor Who famously said, "Don't you think she looks tired?"
Just as DT says we can like it or lump it and clear off somewhere else (or words to that effect), perhaps we can ask the Mayor to resign and go somewhere else herself, and take her loony colleagues with her! Come on Watford, let's elect someone with common sense next time!! Go on DT, do the decent thing for once and go now. Time for a change. As Doctor Who famously said, "Don't you think she looks tired?" JustPhil
  • Score: 0

2:18pm Mon 2 Nov 09

billyjo says...

Found these two interesting statement on the Harwoods APG Ofsted report:
1.Harwoods Adventure Playground is a free 'Open Access' play facility run by Watford Borough Council's Play and Early Years Section for children aged from five up to 15 years.
2.Children under the age of five are welcome if they are accompanied by an adult.
It also mentions that Harwoods is the biggest Adventure Playground in the UK!
So Dorothy and play officers from the Council, stop hidding behind Ofsted!
Found these two interesting statement on the Harwoods APG Ofsted report: 1.Harwoods Adventure Playground is a free 'Open Access' play facility run by Watford Borough Council's Play and Early Years Section for children aged from five up to 15 years. 2.Children under the age of five are welcome if they are accompanied by an adult. It also mentions that Harwoods is the biggest Adventure Playground in the UK! So Dorothy and play officers from the Council, stop hidding behind Ofsted! billyjo
  • Score: 0

2:41pm Mon 2 Nov 09

billyjo says...

Forgot to say, this report was done in 2007.
Forgot to say, this report was done in 2007. billyjo
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Mon 2 Nov 09

Veritas says...

Someone should show that to Dotty, or better still contact the BBC, I'm sure we can all have another laugh when she is questioned about this big contradiction!!!!

Its like most things that Devious Dotty does, it is to cut costs in the wrong places.

The Market consultants fees and all the other consultant fees are astronomical, can't remember the exact the amount was in the WO a few weeks ago. We don't seem to be shocked or complain at these outrageous amounts?

Dotty forgets that we have lots more kids these days, yet she is cutting servies for them, and her Minions are full of spin,

I heard from someone else about the playscheme not being publisied at Cassiobury, and they used that as an excuse to cut funding, would they have not been better letting people know what was going on? No, they have a very strange agenda, namely cut all well established community services, claiming not being used!!! Good thing local people are noticing what is going on and speaking up, I mean we have so many more developments in Watford itself, what does she think? That nobody is going to live in all these news developements? It is going to get worse.

Atleast now people are seeing Dotty for what is is!! Finally.

We don't need an elected Mayor, we already have one"chairman of the Borough Council" The old Mayor.

Why do we have both, the chairman is a lot cheaper, and we ahve a Chief Executive that does the same as Dotty.
Someone should show that to Dotty, or better still contact the BBC, I'm sure we can all have another laugh when she is questioned about this big contradiction!!!! Its like most things that Devious Dotty does, it is to cut costs in the wrong places. The Market consultants fees and all the other consultant fees are astronomical, can't remember the exact the amount was in the WO a few weeks ago. We don't seem to be shocked or complain at these outrageous amounts? Dotty forgets that we have lots more kids these days, yet she is cutting servies for them, and her Minions are full of spin, I heard from someone else about the playscheme not being publisied at Cassiobury, and they used that as an excuse to cut funding, would they have not been better letting people know what was going on? No, they have a very strange agenda, namely cut all well established community services, claiming not being used!!! Good thing local people are noticing what is going on and speaking up, I mean we have so many more developments in Watford itself, what does she think? That nobody is going to live in all these news developements? It is going to get worse. Atleast now people are seeing Dotty for what is is!! Finally. We don't need an elected Mayor, we already have one"chairman of the Borough Council" The old Mayor. Why do we have both, the chairman is a lot cheaper, and we ahve a Chief Executive that does the same as Dotty. Veritas
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