South Kirkby West Street Recreation Ground Football Goal Posts

The request was successful.

Dear Wakefield City Council,
I have repeatedly asked that W.M.D.C reinstall BOTH sets of football posts on the Recreation Ground, but they refuse to install two sets. They repeatedly say it is their responsibility to only replace one set!
Both sets of Goalposts were removed by whomever after I had reported both sets as dangerous to WMDC. I had presumed that WMDC had removed both sets due to my report to them, but it is really unimportant to my belief. They were both removed simply because they were dangerous to the kiddies!
WMDC claim that other bodies removed one set, hence it is not the responsibilty of WMDC to replace both the missing goal posts. They will only replace the one set that they claim they removed and are responsible for! Meanwhile our kiddies go without what they have enjoyed for seven years! It may seem trivial to some, but in the modern world of ever increasing Child Obesity it is much to the forefront and exercise being an important factor in that view.
My questions are as follows.
1) W.M.D.C installed both sets of goalposts in 2012 ....Is that correct please?
2) When was the last Safety/Stress Tests carried out on the original goalposts and why didn't it detect the detioriation that caused them to fail this year?
3) Who actually removed the two sets of goalposts?
4) Regardeless of whom removed the goalposts, does not the legal responsibiltiy of maintaining and indeed replacing the dangerous goalposts rest with WMDC as they were the initiail providers. Is that correct please?
5) I am of course thankful that they did so, but If WMDC will ONLY replace items that they removed, then why did they contravene their own rules when they replaced the Recreation Ground Gates after they had been stolen by others? It cannot even have been for safety reasons, as they have not replaced the three stolen lateral lengths of perimeter fencing that were reported by myself in the same instance as reporting the gates going missing?

Thank you in advance
Brian Thomas

Yours faithfully,

Brian Thomas

freedomofinformation, Wakefield City Council

Dear Mr Thomas,

 

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT 2000 - REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

 

Thank you for your email requesting information under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000 which we received on 11 November 2019.  It is our
intention to have the response delivered to you by 9 December 2019.

 

I would like to inform you that all requests submitted under the Freedom
of Information Act 2000 might be subject to exemption(s), which the
Authority is entitled to apply to refuse the request.

 

Any future correspondence you may have in relation to this matter should
be marked Private & Confidential and sent to the Senior Information
Governance Officer, Information Management Team, County Hall, Wakefield
WF1 2QW or e-mailed to [1][Wakefield City Council request email].

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Senior Information Governance Officer

Corporate Information Governance Team,

Legal and Governance,

Wakefield Council, County Hall, Wakefield WF1 2QW

Email: [2][Wakefield City Council request email]

Tel: 01924 306112

 

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freedomofinformation, Wakefield City Council

Dear Mr Thomas,

 

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Request for Information

 

I am writing in respect of your recent enquiry for information held by the
Authority under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

 

Please find the response to your request below.

 

1)         W.M.D.C installed both sets of goalposts in 2012 ....Is that
correct please?

 

The posts were donated by the Town Council, however were erected by
Wakefield Council at that time.

 

2)         When was the last Safety/Stress Tests carried out on the
original goalposts and why didn't it detect the detioriation that caused
them to fail this year?

 

All football posts are stress tested on an annual basis, along with
regular safety inspections when the field is visited by the GM teams. We
are unable to provide a specific date for the inspection. However the last
one would have been carried out in Autumn 2018, as the posts were not in
place in Autumn 2019 when this year’s inspections were due to be carried
out. The posts were removed following vandalism not deterioration.

 

3)         Who actually removed the two sets of goalposts?

 

Following a further investigation Wakefield Council removed both sets of
posts off site following acts of vandalism.

 

4)         Regardeless of whom removed the goalposts, does not the legal
responsibiltiy of maintaining and indeed replacing the dangerous goalposts
rest with WMDC as they were the initiail providers. Is that correct
please?

 

There is no legal responsibility for the replacement of the posts. The
replacement of the posts is at the discretion of Wakefield Council. As
stated above, annual stress testing and regular safety inspections are
carried out by the Council.

 

5)         I am of course thankful that they did so, but If WMDC will ONLY
replace items that they removed, then why did they contravene their own
rules when they replaced the Recreation Ground Gates after they had been
stolen by others? It cannot even have been for safety reasons, as they
have not replaced the three stolen lateral lengths of perimeter fencing
that were reported by myself in the same instance as reporting the gates
going missing?

 

No Council policies or procedures have been contravened with the removal
of the posts. The stolen gates were replaced following public concerns
being raised.

 

Wakefield Council will be replacing both sets of goal posts in the near
future. However, we will not replace these in future should they be
vandalized. The last full set and the half set erected a couple of months
ago were all vandalised, and we are unable to sustain continued
replacement in the current financial climate.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further queries
regarding this matter.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Senior Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team

Legal and Governance

Wakefield Council

Tel: 01924 306112

E-mail: [1][Wakefield City Council request email]

 

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Dear freedomofinformation,

South Kirkby, West Street Recreation Ground Goal Posts.
Thank you for the F.O.I. reply and I most welcome the fact that Council have now decided to do the decent thing and provide both sets of goal post for our youngsters to continue their enjoyment of football. Please do push for a speedy resolution to a long standing dispute that has not been protracted by me, but by WMDC colleagues of yours! Our kiddies have been deprived of a full Summer of lost activity, simply because Council chose to protract the issues.
I do though have to take you to task on your answers to my questions.
I asked
1) W.M.D.C installed both sets of goalposts in 2012 ....Is that
correct please?
You answered
“The posts were donated by the Town Council, however were erected by
Wakefield Council at that time.”
That to my knowledge and archived emails is totally incorrect. Goalposts were initially paid for and erected by Town Council, but were then removed by WMDC during a Bank Holiday eighteen months or so later. That caused heated disagreements between Town Council and WMDC. At Town Councillor L. Harrison and my requests, they were eventually replaced I believe at WMDC cost, in 2012. These were the goalposts that we are now discussing.
I asked about stress testing and in your reply you stated that the posts were removed due to vandalism and not deterioration. It was I that asked for their removal because even though I agree they had been damaged, that would probably not have taken place had they not have been rusty due to lack of maintenance of the steelwork/paintwork etc.
I asked about who removed the goalposts and you now finally admit that WMDC removed both sets. That has been a long standing bone of contention between your colleague Mr J. Dickinson and me, where he has been adamant that others removed one set of posts and not WMDC. That was in September 2019. Just why did he say this? If he or others had checked further when I asked on 2nd October 2019 then this issue would have been cleared up long ago! Why should I have needed to use F.O.I. It is grossly unfair!
You further point out that the one set of goal posts that WMDC did actually replace after my further requests for action, were removed also due to vandalism. That is again totally wrong and misleading. They were removed at my request due to the rust and paint condition of the posts, which was the case when they were initially installed. They were second-hand and were removed to be cleared of rust, repainted and re-installed. Please view the photographs I forwarded to Council. They were disgraceful and Council really ought to be ashamed to have placed them there in the first place considering the state they were in! This was finally actioned by your colleague Mr J. Dickinson around 25th October 2019.

You bring up the issue of vandalism of the goalposts. As you are now aware the damaged goalposts had been in place for seven years and were used repeatedly by both local children and even organised team games. Yet WMDC insist they will not replace them again if they are vandalised. I respectfully suggest that seven long years of very regular use with no apparent maintenance as to the condition of the posts is remarkable, and indeed a credit to the youngsters of our community. Yet you seem to believe that they must suffer and be penalised if some idiot happens to take umbrage against the replacements and vandalises them. I respectfully suggest that more effort be made to prevent this rather than penalising our kiddies for what some idiot may choose to now do!

All in all considering these problems were all highlighted to Council in May 2019 it is a shocking display by WMDC in dealing with a perfectly reasonable request for help by a citizen who cares about his community and the health and welfare of its children, including my own grandchildren. I respectfully suggest that Mr Dickinson and others needs to listen more carefully to comments made by citizens. I told him all that I have just told you many, many weeks ago, yet no one has even admitted the error of saying others removed one of the goalposts and not WMDC. How unfair is that?

Perhaps if Council sought to adhere to their own target dates for communication and stopped misleading folk with wrongful statements and instead realise that a concerned citizen is not an antagonist, but a caring individual, then the Community may actually start to believe that we do not live in a forgotten land and our children could participate in the national game to the betterment of their health!
By example, would the replacements have been actioned if I hadn’t continued asking for help? I very much doubt it!
Copy to CEO Merran McRae.

Yours sincerely,

Brian Thomas

freedomofinformation, Wakefield City Council

Dear Mr Thomas,

 

Thank you for your e-mail.

 

Please note that you will receive a response from the Chief Executive’s
office in relation to the points you have raised.

 

We would respectfully ask that you address any further correspondence
regarding this matter to them, in order to avoid any unnecessary delay or
confusion.

 

Your co-operation in this respect is greatly appreciated.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Senior Information Governance Officer

Information Governance Team, Legal and Governance,

Wakefield Council, County Hall, Wakefield, WF1 2QW

E-mail: [email address]

Tel: 01924 306112

 

 

 

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