Call for release of all play area plans

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An Angus Councillor is calling for council leader Bob Myles to release all plans relating to the future of play areas and green spaces throughout Angus ahead of a final report being brought to committee later in the year.

The call comes on the back of a story featured in last week’s “Brechin Advertiser”.

Arbroath Councillor and the SNP spokesperson on the neighbourhood services committee, Donald Morrison, said he fully understood the reasoning why Forfar councillor and Angus Alliance member, Colin Brown, shared a draft copy of the plans for the burgh’s parks to the town’s community council.

Speaking to the Brechiner on the back of last week’s headline, Councillor Morrison said: “Did Councillor Brown do the right thing in sharing the draft proposals with Forfar Community Council on the future of the burgh’s play parks and green spaces?

“I can certainly understand why he felt it was important to do so, as I think Councillor Brown obviously has concerns as to the public’s reaction on what would be an emotive issue without early consultation.

“It appears to be public knowledge that part of the administration’s initial budget proposals were made to close some parks throughout the county but were shelved just before the finalised budget took place in February, so it is difficult to see what changes have been made to the council’s play park review since.

“Therefore, if Councillor Brown was able to share draft plans with the local community council four months ago, his Alliance administration must allow other community councils the right to view the proposals affecting their area ahead of the report coming to the neighbourhood services committee later in the year.

“Going to consultation afterwards, if this one of the report’s recommendations, could be seen as mere window dressing and the Angus public will fear the report is a fait accompli.

“Councillor Myles came in with the banner of ‘consultation, consultation, consultation’, so rather than waiting for the report to come to committee, why doesn’t the Alliance really think out of the box for once and go to consultation now?

“Agreement may be reached on some of the unsued and misued parks, while ideas for alternative usage could also be suggested, such as allotments.

“Allowing community councils, etc. to view and discuss the proposals ahead of the finalised committee report would offer real consultation and direct joint working with the community.”

However, council leader Bob Myles denied the audit had or was taking place and went on to describe last week’s “Brechiner” front page as a “non-story.”

“If we decide to make any decisions on our play parks we will consult with the people when there is something to discuss. This is a non-story.

“There is no proposal to discuss. Nothing has been carried out and there has been no report to committee.

“If there are some play parks that are no longer sustainable then we will look at that at the appropriate time.”