Safety fears for youngsters over goal posts at Leighton Buzzard park

The council says action is now being taken
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Parents of young footballers using equipment at Astral Park have claimed the goals are a safety hazard.

They say they have raised concerns about broken goals, with shards of rusting metal sticking out, and a lack of wheels on the heavy equipment making it difficult to transport from storage to the pitches.

Clive Cornelius, whose 12-year-old son plays on the pitch, said several parents had raised concerns with Leighton-Linslade Town Council over the issue.

Parents are concerned about the state of the goalsParents are concerned about the state of the goals
Parents are concerned about the state of the goals

"They keep promising to come out and fix them but haven't,” he said. “My son plays for the under 12s and those particular sized goals are the worst in terms of rusting. Bars have snapped off leaving jagged edges. And parents have to lift heavy goals in place because the wheels have fallen off. We just want them to acknowledge there is an issue and get it sorted.”

Town clerk Mark Soccaccio said new goals were now on order after meetings with football clubs. He said: “Following the end of the 2022/23 football season the junior football clubs contacted the town council to discuss a number of issues including the age of the goals and the layout of the playing pitches.

“A meeting was held in July with the Bedfordshire FA, the junior football clubs and the town council to discuss the outstanding matters. At the Grounds & Environmental Committee meeting held on September 4 a report was presented and authority was given alongside funding to purchase new goals, subject to a grant being provided by the Bedfordshire FA, and some basic hard standing in the goal storage area.

“Hard standing for the goals has now been provided at a cost of around £6,500 plus VAT and a set of nine new goals are on order and should arrive in the New Year. The hard standing provided should protect the goals and make them easier to move out of the compound.

Rusty metal bits can be seen on the goalsRusty metal bits can be seen on the goals
Rusty metal bits can be seen on the goals

“The new goals will be provided with new wheels and their purchase has been made possible by a very generous grant from the Bedfordshire FA.

“The town council would like to place on record its thanks to the Bedfordshire FA for all their support in helping the needs of the junior football clubs to be realised.”