Tuesday, 2 September 2003

EU bureaucrats ban village's swings

A village’s children have had their playground swings taken away because EU bureaucrats say they are too high.

Children have played on the three swings in Great Somerfield, Wiltshire for more than 25 years.

But despite no-one having suffered anything more serious than a grazed knee, the swings have had to be removed to conform with European Union regulations.

European Standard BSEN 1176 sets everything from the distance of the seat to the ground to the overall height of the swing frame – and says the Wiltshire swings are 60cm (2ft) too tall.

The swings in the village near Malmesbury were condemned during an inspection and the seats have now been taken away to stop children playing on them as the council could be liable to prosecution should someone be injured.

Parish council chairman Councillor Toby Sturgis said they are meeting tonight to see if anything can be done as it will cost the council £2,500 to replace the swings.

“I agree that we should try to make these things as safe as possible but it’s ridiculous, we are now mollycoddling children too much,” he said.

“These swings have been used by children for years and some of their parents even played on them without incident.

“Children do not understand EU directives or ‘fall heights’ , they are just upset at losing their swings.”

This article first appeared on www.ananova.com