Big response to playpark plans

MORE than 1,000 people responded online or on paper to Angus Council’s recent consultation on the future of playparks in the county.

The exercise, which finished on Friday, December 14, followed a report which identified that 51 of the playparks in Angus had issues with obsolete, difficult to repair equipment or did not meet current health and safety standards.

The council recently highlighted a potential £45 million shortfall in its capital programme funding. The £1.91 million requirement for play parks would be in addition to the £45 million shortfall already identified and removing equipment from the 51 play parks, which would cost £700,000 to bring up to standard, would save £31,000 annually in staff and maintenance costs.

While the proposals suggested that play equipment may have to be removed from a number of the county’s play parks, the surrounding park areas will remain open.

The report sparked a furious reaction from parents and community groups across the county who set up a campaign in opposition which staged demonstrations at the parks and, last week, handed over a petition of more than 2,000 signatures against the proposal.

In Arbroath 13 parks are under threat, while four are facing the axe in Carnoustie and three in Monifieth.

The next step will be a report back to the council next month.

Councillor Donald Morrison, neighbourhood services convener, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who took the time and trouble to fill in the survey forms and hope that by extending the time available to do this, everyone who wished to do so was able to express their opinions.

“The next step will be a report to committee in January where we will look at the details of the survey results for each area, and decisions will be made at a later date.”