New £500,000 play area gets go ahead

LOCAL councillor Donald Morrison has welcomed an agreement by officials at Angus Council to install fencing around the new play area at the West Links which received the go-ahead on Thursday.

A report initially suggested that no fencing could be put in without the help of external funding.

The agreement was made during the neighbourhood services committee meeting in Forfar after Councillor Morrison had raised a constituent’s concern about the lack of fencing in the plans for the £500,000 project to rejuvenate the area.

Councillor Morrison commented: “Though I and many others remain concerned that the £500,000 funding for the new play area at the West Links is to be taken out of the council’s contingency fund used for unforeseen emergencies, the council has agreed to progress and has given assurances to the public and elected members that this is affordable.

“Looking at the committee report on the design of the area, it was suggested fencing may not be included in the first phase of the project as it would have to be funded from outwith the council’s budget.

“West Links is a popular area for dog walkers and because it is near the beach, many dogs are off the lead. While it is the owners’ responsibility to keep their pets under control, a concern was raised by a parent and there have been incidents where dogs have wondered into children’s play areas causing distress for some youngsters.

“The existing play area at the West Links has fencing with gates around it which acts as a barrier in keeping the animals out and I suggested the council could recycle this fencing as a temporary measure. However, I am pleased the council has confirmed alternative fencing will be installed at the new play area.”

Councillor Morrison supported Councillor David Fairweather’s request for the new play area to be in place by the start of the new season next year, but warned this could be delayed if last year’s severe winter weather were to hit Arbroath again.