Playpark closure plan goes back to council

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A CONSULTATION into the controversial plan to close half of the local area’s playparks will be discussed at a Angus Council committee meeting on Thursday.

More than 1,000 people filled in all or part of the online or paper surveys relating to the condition of play equipment in their local parks.

The consultation follows a report which identified that a number of playparks had issues with obsolete, difficult to repair equipment or did not meet current health and safety standards.

The report identified 51 playparks with173 items of equipment that could be removed and 50 play parks which should be retained and developed.

In Arbroath 13 play areas are under threat, as are four in Carnoustie and three in Monifieth.

Convener of neighbourhood services, Councillor Donald Morrison said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took the trouble to fill in the survey forms and emphasise again that we do not propose to close any play areas: proposals relate only to the removal of certain items of play equipment.

“There were a variety of comments made in the surveys and I hope we will have a full discussion on these points at committee on Thursday.

“As well as asking for the opinions of the local community, we also arranged a meeting with PlayScotland, to discuss all aspects of how we manage our play areas whilst achieving maximum benefits in times of financial constraints.

“These comments and opinions will all help us to inform our thinking and decision-making as to the next steps, and for the future.”

He added: “These are tough times and we are facing difficult decisions. Although the council has invested heavily in recent years to redevelop play areas, of the 50 play parks proposed for retention, 28 sites are in need of upgrading ideally within the next one to three years, at an estimated cost of £1.21million.

“The 51 sites identified for removal of equipment would require further funding of around £705,000 in addition to the £1.21million, giving a total funding requirement of £1.91million.”