Killjoy Scottish council spend £6,000 on fence to stop children playing football

A killjoy council spent £6,000 on bizarre fencing to stop children playing football - but neighbours say it 'looks like a prison'.

The eyesore has been slated by residents. Picture: SWNS

What was once a 'beautiful' grass area outside houses in Dalmuir, Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, has become criss-crossed with low level black fences in the shape of an X.

The eyesore has been slated by residents, who accused West Dunbartonshire Council of wasting cash and spoiling children's fun.

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The work is not yet complete but the local authority admitted it would cost £6,000 - and was motivated at stopping children from playing outside.

The cost, paid for by the HRA Capital Investment Programme, is around 6,000, according to the local authority. Picture: SWNS

Neighbours said the approach was heavy handed and that the children whose football games had prompted complaints no longer played there.

The fences are not even completed at Auckland and Kingston Place but have provoked outrage, with local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes being contacted about the situation.

The cost, paid for by the HRA Capital Investment Programme, is around £6,000, according to the local authority.

Violet-Ann Woods said: "Disgraceful move in my book and a total waste of money, let the weans play.

One resident said there had been only two complaints. Picture: SWNS

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"It does look like a prison, total overkill on fencing small areas like this.

"Put some swings on it for younger kids, meant to be encouraging kids to play outside."

And Tracey McCormick said: "It has to be the most ridiculous waste of money.

"The grass areas in this scheme are the only safe place for young kids to play.

"The people who complain should remember when they first moved in with their families.

"I'm sure they had many happy memories of playing there. It is now a total eyesore."

A neighbour, speaking on condition of anonymity, said: "What's happened here is the council have taken complaints on board from two neighbours regarding a couple of young kids playing football.

"This was last year - they don't play there any more.

"So they have put up black fence railings. I can now see five different rows of fences from my window.

"It used to be a beautiful grass area and now it's a mess - it's absolutely ridiculous.

"I got an estimated figure from the contractors, and by the time they're done it's going to cost in the region of £10,000.

"It's all a bit much to stop kids playing football.

"The first shape was a mistake, so now the workers are out to do it properly.

"That was the reason they were digging fencing back up.

"They are now creating an 'X' shape, with gates in the middle. It looks a total monstrosity. The grass space has turned into railings."

A petition has been handed into the council citing objections.

Another resident added: "My kids have grown up now but it was a blessing for them to play on this area.

"All the work that is going on to fence this off is unbelievable - and they say the council is making cut backs."

A spokesman for West Dunbartonshire Council said: "The low level fences were introduced in consultation with residents following a number of complaints about damage to property

caused by ball games on the grassed area.

"The design was chosen to discourage use of the location as a play area, and encourage the use of existing full-size pitches nearby."

An eight-year-old schoolboy told of his dismay at no longer being able to play football on the grass - while other neighbours nicknamed the fence 'Barlinnie'.

Little Charlie Quinn said: "I just don't really like it.

"A lot of the time, me and my friends would always play football here but now we can't play as far up because of the fence.

"I don't like it at all."

His grandma, Ann McElhinney, 64, said her other grandchildren who come to visit will no longer enjoying playing there.

The grandmother-of seven-said: "I just think it's shocking.

"I have grandchildren who come and visit me.

"So if they are not allowed to play here it means they have to go to areas where there are a lot of cars.

"I don't allow them to do that.

"We have had kids kicking the ball over our garden fences but the children are so polite and they will ask to come in and take the ball.

"It's very young kids between nine and 11.

"The kids will all hate this.

"Also the way the fence is shaped, how do they plan on getting in the middle to cut the grass?

"So it means the grass will be a mess."

Another neighbour joked that the fence has been nicknamed 'Barlinnie' - after the notorious Scots prison.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the woman said: "It looks terrible, it is like a prison.

"We say it's like Barlinnie, all you need to do is put mesh on top of that."

And grandmother-of-six Diane White described it as "dangerous".

Diane, 53, feared he fencing would pose a risk to children if they tried to climb it.

She said: "I would get it if they put a fence on the outside of the area to stop balls from rolling into people's gardens.

"But the bit in the middle is just a no-no.

"It's just awful, I have grandchildren and they all think it's awful too.

"It's just stupidity when other areas need fencing.

"It just doesn't make sense to me.

"Someone is going to get hurt, one of the kids will try and climb that and they will fall and hit the other fence.

"I think it's actually more dangerous.

"It does look like a prison, all you need is the guards to stand at either side."