Playpark consultation results to be discussed

Results of the recent public consultation into the condition of equipment in playparks throughout Angus will be discussed by the neighbourhood services sommittee at their meeting on Thursday, January 17.

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 with 173 items of equipment that could be removed and 50 play parks which should be retained and developed.

A total of 69 responses were submitted regarding playparks in the Brechin and Edzell area with 149 responses from Brechin and Edzell residents to the consultation on all play areas. They were as follows:-

Cookston Crescent saw 14 responses stating that the park meets a local need without crossing busy roads.

Drumachlie Park saw 20 respondees who indicated it was very well used, meets a local need and is important as it is located next to Andover Primary School.

Duriehill Place’s park saw 13 people responding and was regarded as being very well used, meeting the needs of local young children, including some with disabilities.

Serving the east side of the village it allows children to use a park without having to cross the main road. The equipment was noted to be in good condition.

Four people responded to the consultation about Edzell Muir Trim Trail stating it is in poor condition and is designed for adults.

Hillview had six responses which indicated that it met a local need for young children. At the stakeholder meeting it was stated that the park was well used by the migrant workers’ children who live in that area.

Nine people responded with regard to Mountskip and indicated that it met the need of young children as well as pupils from Brechin High. They also disagreed with the condition of the park’s equipment stating they thought it was in good condition rather than just fair.

Three respondees indicated that Wards Park was in a good central position. They also considered the equipment to be in good rather than fair condition.

No responses were received about the park at Tarfside.

At the stakeholder meetings it was highlighted that the overall potential removal could only leave two play areas, one of which will be out of action during the course of the flood defence works.

It was also said that Brechin does not have a large new play area like coastal towns or Kirriemuir.

At the biannual meeting of community councils a presentation by the Youth Action Group was said to have clearly stated that they want more play areas and not less.

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 Play Scotland, 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 £1.21 million.

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