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Strong support for MUGA

Posted on June 18 2010 at 11:50:36

Kids enjoying the MUGA


The MUGA play area in Alvechurch is under review after Bromsgrove council chiefs were presented with petitions both for and against it.

Cabinet members had been asked to make a decision on whether to concentrate efforts on alleviating perceived problems at the Swans Length site or to remove the MUGA completely.

News that the play area could be removed came as a shock to village parents and youngsters. Within a few days online petitions demonstrated a high level of support for the MUGA, with one quickly garnering 108 signatures in support (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/alvechurch_muga).

There was also surprise at the sudden need for a decision, especially as villagers were promised at a public forum last year, where a small focus group was set up to look at the issues, that they would report back to another public meeting before any recommendations were made to the council.

The Cabinet heard from its officers that as there were opposing petitions - another from residents against the MUGA carried 90 names - they had to be passed to the council’s Joint Overview and Scrutiny Board.

Members were told that reports of antisocial behaviour in Alvechurch had not increased since the MUGA was installed, but reports were concentrated in the Swans Length area.

There was also concern that elderly residents living in Swans Walk, which is one route to the MUGA area, were suffering from a perceived threat from the noise of passing youngsters.

Cabinet members agreed that the Scrutiny Board should make its recommendations within six months. In the meantime, officers would “work with the local police, partners and residents to identify ways of alleviating the difficulties at the site”.

The Board is aiming to examine the issues surrounding the MUGA at a meeting on July 22, although it is not known if this will be possible in such a relatively short timescale.

The MUGA was installed at a cost of £90,000 in the summer of 2008 after lengthy consultations with the whole village. Its impetus came from requests from youngsters who felt there was little provision for them in the village.

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