A CHILDMINDER is petitioning to save her trampoline after a housing association demanded she take it down for being a health and safety risk.
Sharon Farmer, of Sandstone Road, Grove Park, erects the 14ft trampoline from June to September every year in the communal gardens of the estate.
Around 40 children of all ages use the equipment including the youngsters she cares for and children from the estate.
But London and Quadrant Housing Association, which took over the estate two years ago, wrote to all residents complaining the trampoline was on private land and demanding for it to be removed for safety reasons.
Mrs Farmer, who has been caring for children for 12 years, said: “I have written permission from parents on the estate for their children to go on it and I am insured for the children I look after.
“There have never been any accidents because mine has a net.”
She added: “I think it’s rubbish. It’s never been a problem until L & Q took over.”
The mother-of-one has since set up a petition to save the trampoline and has so far obtained 18 signatures.
Mrs Farmer, who has lived on the estate for 16 years, said: “Since L & Q have been doing major work on the estate they want us all to stay inside to make the place look pretty.
“It’s not going to happen. The kids will run riot.”
The 44-year-old added: “When the children are on the trampoline they are behaving themselves. It keeps them active and we know where they are.
“They are not allowed to play ball games on the green and the parks around here are unsafe.
“What else are they supposed to do?”
Concerned mum-of-three, Tam Kellman, who has lived on the estate for 10 years, said: “I’m really disappointed by this because it’s never been an issue in previous years.
“It’s valued by us because we don’t have individual gardens”
The 31-year-old added: “It’s a safe patch of land. If its taken away it poses a problem of whether to let your children go further a field to play and whether you have time to take them somewhere else.”
Leanie Birchall’s two children, aged five and nine, are cared for by Mrs Farmer when she is at university.
The 33-year-old said: “I think it’s disgusting. The trampoline has been put up for years.
“It’s supervised so to say it is a safety risk is a poor excuse.”
She added: “I think it will ruin the estate because the kids will have nothing to do.
“If they are not allowed to play they will get up to no good.”
An L & Q spokesman said: “We have agreed the trampoline can remain until the end of the school holidays.
“The trampoline will be re-assessed next spring in conjunction with health and safety representatives to determine if there are any potential risks to residents from their use and, if so, what can be done to mitigate these risks.
“We will also be carrying out a consultation with residents at Sandstone Road to get their views on the trampolines.”