SDLP: O’Donnell calls for play facilities at Knockena

Cllr Mark O'Donnell
Cllr Mark O'Donnell

SDLP Shantallow Councillor Mark O’Donnell has called for Play facilities to be provided for children at the Knockena estate in the city.

Cllr O’Donnell made the call after being contacted by a number of residents as well as other interested parties.

He said: “There is no area within the Knockena estate for children to play and a number of residents have been left frustrated by children playing football too close to houses and cars. Young people are then being reported to the PSNI and to the community safety team for anti-social behaviour which both puts those agencies under pressure and leads to avoidable negative encounters with police.

“So important is the need for children to have adequate play facilities that it’s incorporated in international law. Article 31 on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child makes it clear that there is an obligation on the state to provide opportunities for children to engage in play and recreational facilities.

“Apex Housing has an ethos of building communities and I believe that by providing play facilities for the large number of children in the area they will go some way to achieving this at Knockena. They will also reduce pressure on themselves as well as the local Community Safety Team by allowing these agencies to focus on more serious instances of anti social behaviour.

“I intend to meet with Council officers and representatives of Apex to discuss this matter as soon as possible.”