BICESTER Town Council has backed calls from residents to reopen most of the remaining play parks in the town.

The council has worked with company KJ Cleaning and were out in force at the weekend to deep clean parks ready to reopen today.

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It means a further 38 play areas will be open for the first time since they were closed last March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

There are 12 parks that have still not been reopened as they are currently subject to a consultation over their future.

The move comes after a review of the number of positive Covid-19 cases in Cherwell. Councillors have agreed numbers are sufficiently low to allow smaller parks to open.

According to the government’s website, the number of cases recorded on March 11, was 39 cases per 100,000 people. The average area in England had 49.

Council leader Councillor Richard Mould said: “We are delighted to let residents know most of the town’s play parks will reopen on Monday following a deep clean over the weekend.

“Many parents and carers have contacted councillors asking for the parks to be reopened, but until now our hands were tied because of concerns about the high infection rate of Covid-19 and limited staff being able to inspect and clean parks regularly.

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“The latest figure for positive cases in Cherwell is now sufficiently low enough to allow the rest of the play parks to open. Our priority has always been the safety of residents.”

Last week, the council said it had received reports of overcrowding at the 12 parks which were open, especially Garth Park, and reminded people to adhere to social distancing.

Residents however said that if more play areas were open there would be more space for people to enjoy the playgrounds safely.

The council urges people to keep at least two metres apart and wash their hands regularly as well as to follow rules on signs at parks for the maximum number of people allowed in a park.

If the park is busy people should come back another time.

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