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Community Pembrokeshire

Local council order removal of community football goal

JOHNSTON Community Council have ordered the removal of a community football goal post causing concern among locals about the lack of activities available for young people. 

The community council claim they ordered the removal following a health and safety inspection. 

Locals from the village shared their concern, stating that the removal of the community goal post could lead to youths having no place to go and instead would “roam up and down the main road”. 

One woman took to Facebook to share her disapproval of the removal. 

She wrote: “Apologies to all children that gather on the village green in Johnston to use the boys’ big football goal. It’s been an absolute pleasure watching you all share and make use of it over the last few months – forming strong friendships within the local community and best of all, just being kids and having fun. 

“I’ve especially enjoyed seeing the older teens so active and ‘hubbed’ together daily, instead of roaming up and down the main road, the dads and sons bringing an array of cones and balls, using it to get some proper training in.

“Unfortunately the boys kindness and willingness to share and play has been firmly put to an end as the brand new, top of the range & immaculate match official goal has been deemed a safety hazard to the public (but only after a personal boundary/fencing dispute has recently taken place)… take from that what you will. 

“Begrudgingly it has now been removed by ourselves during forceful “dismantle and disposal” by our local community council? 

“Won’t name which for obvious reasons, but Kudos for the word ‘community’ 

“Really didn’t want to meet and greet others petty level and feel I am by going public but I am absolutely gutted for you kids ! And just wanted to put it there that it hasn’t been removed by choice. I’m quite frankly p*ssed off, and am so so sorry that something so little will strip the enjoyment of so many.”

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A spokesperson from Johnston Community Council said: “ The community council, as owner of the Vine Field and playpark, is obliged to carry out regular health and safety inspections on the field, and all equipment, and also to arrange insurance for this. 

“During a recent safety inspection, it was flagged up that the goal post was not part of the community council’s equipment, it could not be assessed for safety or suitability, and should be removed. It had been placed on the field without community council consent. In this situation, any incident that occurred involving the goalpost on community council owned land could bring liability upon the community council, but not be covered by our insurance. 

“Under these circumstances, we were obliged to instruct the owner of the goalpost to remove it from the community council’s land. Unfortunately this was not done, and we were obliged to arrange its removal ourselves. 

“We understand the disappointment that this may have caused to young users of the goalpost, but trust you will understand that we have to follow strict procedures in this type of situation for safety and legal reasons. 

“The community council is currently considering placing its own goalposts on the field, and is actively seeking quotations for this. If this goes ahead, the goalposts provided will be available for all users of the field, and be fully insured and safety-inspected as for all the other community council recreational equipment on the field, which I am sure you will agree is important and beneficial.”