Public consultation is now under way

Angus Council is asking the public for their opinions on playparks in the county which have been earmarked for removal of play equipment.

The move follows a report which identified that half of the playparks in the county were causing issues such as obsolete or difficult to repair equipment and/or do not meet current health and safety standards.

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

A four-week public consultation on the playparks began on Monday, November 5.

Members of the public are asked to answer a number of questions, including if they agree with the assessments of playparks set for closure, and how often they use their local or other parks.

Angus Council’s convener of neighbourhood services, Councillor Donald Morrison, said: “During the last past few years, the council has invested heavily in the redevelopment of play parks in Montrose, Monifieth, Carnoustie, and Kirriemuir, and most recently at West Links in Arbroath, with Forfar Lochside being scheduled for improvement this financial year.

“This is over and above numerous other smaller developments across Angus, which provides playpark centres of excellence spread over the county.

“These redeveloped play areas provide safe, imaginative and up-to-date play parks that cater for all ages and give outstanding play value, by using modern equipment that complies with all current safety standards.

“Unfortunately, there are older play areas where equipment is causing issues and we need to look at where provision is best placed for the future, hence the reason for going out to consultation.”

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 would require further funding of around £705,000 in addition to the £1.21million, 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.

To take part in the survey visit or collect a paper survey form from council ACCESS offices or libraries.

Local community planning teams are organising focus groups and forums in each multi member ward to which all community councils and parent councils will be invited to send representatives.

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