Woke council branded 'absurd' after banning leather footballs on playgrounds

Prince William kicks a football during a trip to a school

Woke council branded 'absurd' after banning leather footballs on playgrounds

PA
Oliver Trapnell

By Oliver Trapnell


Published: 26/09/2023

- 12:07

The Home Office has subsequently been told it needs to crack down on the ‘blank cheque powers’

A ‘woke’ council’s decision to ban leather footballs in school playgrounds has been branded “absurd”.

A Merseyside school was slapped with a community protection notice (CPN) by the local council, effectively making it a criminal offence to simply kick a ball around.


The order demanded that pupils use only “light flyway or foam footballs” on the playground after their heavier leather counterparts sparked noise complaints by locals.

According to the CPN, the Merseyside school was ordered, “not to allow the students to use heavy leather footballs and only use light flyway or foam footballs in the playground”.

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Justifying the decision, they said the order was put forward due to a “large number of noise complaints raised by residents”.

However, they made clear the decision was only in place for a few months.

“During this time Sefton Council worked closely with the school to implement a number of provisions to combat issues of noise and disruption, which have been successful,” a spokesman added.

Details of the woke council’s decision emerged in a new report by the Manifesto Club which is calling for a crackdown on “cowboy laws” - powers which target trivial incidents.

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The club argues that “the vast majority of CPNs are unnecessary, or would be better pursued through alternative legal avenues”.

According to the group, as many as 26,000 CPNs (and Community protection warnings) were issued by councils across England.

This number has soared from the 14,000 issued just 9 years ago in 2014.

Breaching a CPN is considered a criminal offence and is punishable by a fine of up to £2,500.

Football on a school playground

The council said the order was put forward due to a 'large number of noise complaints raised by residents'

PA

According to Freedom of Information requests by the club, around 200 councils issued orders last year.

Most notices were issued over messy gardens, while others were issued for bird feeding, begging, barking dogs, TV volume, shouting, swearing and loitering.

“Officials appear to have created a blank cheque power and then washed their hands of it,” Director of the Manifesto Club Josie Appleton said.

“It’s only because of Manifesto Club FOIs (Freedom of Information requests) that we know that there have been nearly 50,000 CPNs issued since 2014.

“The Home Office doesn’t keep basic data or monitor the use of this power - there have been no Government studies on whether CPNs are appropriately issued, or are effective.

“The Home Office needs to fill this gap, and fast, before more innocent people are slapped with absurd legal orders.”

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