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Residents’ fears over safety of Bradford’s frozen lakes and ponds following Solihull tragedy

Residents of Bradford have expressed concern over the safety of the city’s park waters following the recent tragic events in Solihull, with one witness saying she had seen children out on the ice in one of the parks.

Concern surrounding the open access to frozen lakes in the current sub-zero climate has left individuals wondering what is being done to caution members of the public to ensure they stay safe in parks this winter.

This concern follows the tragic incident where four children aged 11, 10, 8 and 6 lost their lives after falling through the frozen Babbs Mill Lake in Solihull, West Midlands last Sunday.

Bradford Council issued a statement on Tuesday 13 December warning the public of the dangers of ice in response to the community’s concerns:

“With freezing temperatures set to continue, please don’t be tempted to walk on frozen ponds, lakes or flooded areas. It is extremely dangerous and can have tragic consequences if you fall in the water. Please stay safe.”

Lister Park lake in Manningham has been completely frozen since the cold snap, yet full access to it remains with only a couple of small barricades that have been placed around the sides.

Meanwhile Bradford Moor Park in Barkerend has seen no precautions implemented at all, with visitors walking freely just inches away from its lake.

Younger residents of Bradford feel that the Council need to do more to keep people their age safe, and that the lack of protection is completely their responsibility.

Shahid Malik, a local who visits Lister Park regularly with his wife, has faith in the Council and believes that children need help recognising the extent of the risks of ice.

“I’m sure the Council is doing all they can. But children need to realise how dangerous it is. Nowadays they are so wrapped up with technology that they do not know how to be cautious in real-life situations.”

Another visitor who wanted to remain anonymous claimed she had just seen a group of youngsters playing on the ice due to it remaining open to the public.

Bradford Council has also encouraged the public to seek advice from Royal Lifesaving Society UK, which has more information on staying safe around frozen waters.

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