THE VALE council is to keep its parks closed.

The authority’s stance follows the UK Government’s daily briefing, on Sunday, April 19, when secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Robert Jenrick said people needed parks and green spaces to exercise and cemeteries to visit loved ones.

The Vale council said that in line with most other local authority areas in Wales, play areas, gated parks, country parks, and coastal resorts in the Vale will all remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Vale council leader, Cllr Neil Moore said: “I appreciate that many residents would like to see facilities reopened, as has been advised in England, but this is a decision that has to be taken locally and I believe that doing so would undermine all of the work being done to keep us safe.

“This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, and it is one that we will keep under review.

“As a council we have a responsibility to do all we can to protect not only residents, but also our own frontline staff and other key workers in the Vale.

“We simply cannot risk a repeat of the crowds of people gathering in parks and at resorts that were witnessed in early March.

“The risk is particularly great with our coastal resorts and county parks where relaxing the restrictions currently in place could well lead to an influx of visitors from far beyond the Vale, potentially in large numbers.

“We are very fortunate in the Vale that there are a wealth of other spaces that people can use to exercise and I would urge residents to make the most of these and to take the opportunity to explore their local area.”

He added: “I would like to take thank you all for respecting this and the many other steps we have had to take in recent weeks to help prevent the spread of covid-19.

“The national data suggests these measures are starting to have a real effect.

“I would also like to thank all of the key workers in the Vale, within the local authority and beyond, particularly those in the care sector who are working on the frontline and doing so much to protect us all at such a challenging time.”