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Tuesday January 19 2021

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In Full . . .

This is not just about swings for children

Posted on June 19 2010 at 4:10:32

On the topic of the MUGA in Alvechurch, I do wonder if last month’s Village View was a sincere and felt concern or whether it was merely included to provoke a response.

Either way, I am saddened by the comments made in relation to the “perverse response” from a “vocal minority”. I assume this refers to Swans Length residents and their call for the removal of the MUGA?  These people are perceived by many as being obstructive, anti-children and, indeed, seen as responding in a “perverse” way.

On the contrary, they have shown remarkable restraint in the face of adversity. In spite of all that is thrown at them, they have engaged in constructive dialogue with the authorities. They have listened to others’ points of view. They have considered alternative options.

By virtue of their location in relation to the MUGA, Swans Length residents should be taken seriously as only they know what it is like to live with the issue they complain about.

Those who criticise Swans Length residents may visit the MUGA with their children or they may just allow their teenagers to frequent it alone possibly having no idea what activities they might be involved in.

They do, however, rest assured that they will not be disturbed into the early hours of the morning by shouting, screaming and all the other noises so often associated with alcohol-fuelled, congregating youths. Swans Length residents do not have the luxury so many of us take for granted, peace and quiet at night and a restful night’s sleep. 

They have a right to complain if their lives have become miserable over an issue which was imposed on them. And please let us all remember that not all of those Swans Length residents are vocal. Many are old and vulnerable. They are the silent ones who may be too fearful to speak out.

These people are not anti-children. Many are themselves parents and grandparents and for others to continue to refer to them as anti-children, and using such negative connotations, is not only disrespectful and short-sighted but it merely reinforces the message that they are not worthy of our concern. It appears to come as a surprise to The Village that Bromsgrove District Council is indeed listening to these residents. Is there a view that it should not?

And finally, who is saying that children should not be allowed to play? We know full well what Swans Length residents are asking, that youngsters are not allowed to shout, scream, engage in under-age drinking and anti social behaviour on their doorstep and into the early hours of the morning. This is not an issue about children’s swings. 

Ann Overs, Alvechurch


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