Public consultation on parks extended

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Angus Council has announced the extension to the consultation on playparks around the county which have been proposed for the possible removal of play equipment.

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.

While it is proposed play equipment may have to be removed from specific areas, the surrounding park areas will remain accessible to the public.

To allow as many people as possible to take part in the online consultation at www.angus.gov.uk/playparks, or by collecting a paper survey from council ACCESS offices or libraries, the deadline has been extended to December 14.

The council’s convener of neighbourhood services, Councillor Donald Morrison, said: “We’ve recognised that this is a very busy time of year for people, and have now extended the deadline to ensure that all those who wish to make a comment have ample time to do so.

“I hope that by extending the deadline, more people will take the opportunity to give us their views on the playparks we’ve identified where the age and standard of equipment is an issue, and how often they use their local or other parks.”

The council is seeking views on its assessment of each individual playpark. However members of the public can make comment on as many of the assessments as they wish.

As well as the public consultation, local community planning teams have organised focus groups and forums in each multi-member ward to which all community councils and parent councils have been invited to send representatives.

Comments noted at these meetings will feed into the consultation process.

The report on play park provision identified 51 play parks with 173 items of equipment that should be removed and 50 play parks which should be retained and developed.

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 require funding of around £705,000 for replacement to equipment and to bring them up to standard, giving a total funding requirement of £1.91 million.

Angus Council recently highlighted the potential £45 million shortfall in the capital programme funding.

The £1.91 million requirement for play parks would be in addition to the £45 million shortfall already identified in the council’s capital programme. Closing the 51 play parks would save £31,000 annually in staff and maintenance costs.