Stay of execution for local play parks

NO DECISION has been taken on the future of eight Montrose play parks which were facing the loss of play equipment under Angus Council budget cuts.

The authority’s neighbourhood services committee yesterday (Thursday) discussed the results of a public consultation on proposals which would see the loss of 175 items of unsafe or out of date equipment from 51 parks across the county.

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

At yesterday’s meeting committee members decided that the next step will be to arrange a series of meetings with local elected members to discuss each individual park and the aspirations for future provision.

Councillor Donald Morrison, neighbourhood services convener, said that no equipment would be removed in the meantime, unless it is on the instructions of the Health and Safety Executive or the council’s insurers.

He also said an opportunity has arisen to draw up a formal outdoor play strategy for Angus, with the involvement of communities, and provide the best possible play areas while remaining within budget.