Anger over children being branded 'a nuisance'

Friends, from left, Robbie Peach, Amy Kent, Ryan Peach, Ben Dutton, Jamie Kent, Nicole Paduch, Niamh Hughes

Friends, from left, Robbie Peach, Amy Kent, Ryan Peach, Ben Dutton, Jamie Kent, Nicole Paduch, Niamh Hughes

First published in News
Last updated

ANGRY mum Sarah Prince says her children are worried about playing outside as a result of a neighbour complaining about them playing football.

Sarah lives in Malam Drive, Rudheath, where local children play outside into the evening.

She lives with her mother-in-law Debbie Peach, who is a tenant of Weaver Vale Housing Trust.

The trust wrote to Mrs Peach stating it had received a complaint that her grandchildren were causing nuisance and annoyance when playing football outside her home.

The letter added that Mrs Peach was considered to be in breach of part of her tenancy agreement.

This states that she is “responsible for ensuring the good behaviour in your home or any part of the estate or neighbourhood of visitors to your home and for all members of your household.”

The letter included examples of behaviour which may be a nuisance, annoyance or disturbance to others – playing loud music, arguing and slamming doors, using offensive language, using or dealing in drugs.

Sarah has three children – Robbie, seven, Ryan, five and one-year-old Rocco – and denied they were causing a nuisance or annoying anyone when they played football in the road.

“What has happened has really upset me and the children, who are worried and confused now about what to do about playing outside,” said Sarah.

“I don’t want to break a tenancy agreement, but I cannot see anything in the agreement about children not being allowed to play outside.”

Fellow Malam Drive resident Leanne Kent, who has two children, Jamie, six and Amy, seven, said it was “ridiculous” that a parent was being told effectively that their children should not be allowed to play outside.

“The children play out from when they get home from school until about 7.30pm, and in the holidays we let them stay out until 9pm,” said Leanne.

“They play normal children’s games, I would not say it’s noisy and we are out watching them.”

Sarah plans to conduct a survey of people in Malam Drive to ask them about children’s behaviour when playing and if they have witnessed or suffered anti-social behaviour from children.

Matthew Cox, tenancy management team leader at Weaver Vale Housing Trust, said: “We have been investigating a complaint and have visited those involved to discuss this.

“We state in our legally binding tenancy agreement that customers are responsible for respecting the rights of others to peaceable enjoyment of their homes and neighbourhood, and to ensure no nuisance, annoyance or distress to others is caused.

“We are happy for children to have the opportunity to play out in their neighbourhood, but ask all our customers to be considerate and respectful of their neighbours.”

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