Consultation continues

The future of eight Montrose parks which were facing the loss of play equipment due to proposed council budget cuts has yet to be discussed.

Ferryden community councillors, who opposed the proposals, asked local councillors recently for an update on the situation which they said had died down since the start of the year.

Angus Council held a public consultation on the suggested cuts which would have seen the loss of 175 items of unsafe or out of date equipment from 51 parks across the county. Removing equipment from the play parks, which would have cost £700,000 to bring up to standard, would have saved £31,000 annually in staff and maintenance costs.

An Angus-wide campaign to retain the equipment was started after a neighbourhood services report was put before councillors in October. The council’s consultation attracted more than 1,000 responses while the Protect Our Parks group collected 2,272 signatures supporting the facilities’ retention.

In January, members of the authority’s neighbourhood services committee decided that the next step would be to arrange a series of meetings with local elected members to discuss individual parks and the aspirations for future provision.

Councillor Bill Duff told the community council that discussions with elected members are going ahead although Councillor David May said he believed only one had taken place.

Mr Duff added that the wards are being dealt with in numerical order.

He said: “As we’re ward eight, we’ll be the last to be discussed. In the budget, cost savings were listed by department and there were no savings due to the removal of equipment.”

An Angus Council spokeswoman this week said that discussions are continuing as planned.

She said: “The consultation with elected members continues on a ward by ward basis. This will take place throughout the summer, with a report being produced for consideration later in the year.”