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Residents’ anger as play area is stripped in Great Harwood
EQUIPMENT at a popular children’s park in Great Harwood has been removed, to the anger of residents.
Swings and a climbing frame, with slides, monkey bars and a fireman’s pole, were removed from the park in Edge End after they became dangerous, local councillor Ciaran Wells said.
But one resident accused the council of ‘pulling the rug from under the feet’ of local children.
Gaenor Bridges, who lives in Edge End, said: “I am disgusted that Hyndburn Council treats residents of the borough in this way.
“It is a popular play area serving the local area as the nearest playground is over a 10 minute walk away, and obviously not suitable for children to be able to visit without parental supervision.
“Surely the children and parents would have liked to have had a say in the matter, and not had the rug pulled from under them.”
Youth justice worker Gaenor, 44, sent an e-mail to the council, and in a reply was told there were no funds to replace the ‘dangerous’ equipment that was ‘beyond economical repair’. She said: “The park was very popular. The football area has been falling down for years and is dangerous, but they’ve left that up.
“My gripe is that we did not know about it. It would have been easier to make it right than from to start from scratch.”
Independent councillor Ian Robinson, who has four children and 13 grandchildren, said councillors were looking at grants to replace the equipment.
“He said: “I have worked on this issue with officers involved.
Some of the play equipment was unsafe.
“We would be neglecting our duties if children went on the apparatus and they failed.
“We will be trying to get equipment back up and running on that park as soon as possible as well, because it’s used a great deal.
“We have a few parks in Great Harwood and some with Green Flag awards, which we are really proud of.”
Portfolio holder for education, leisure, and arts, Ciaran Wells, added: “It’s annoying because it’s the first since I have been on the council that has been removed, but it was unsafe.
“We are working on a plan to replace it.
“We have got an award-winning park in Lowerfold that residents can use, but I appreciate this is not in the immediate vicinity.
“We told the Community Action Group, so people did know about it.”
But Gaenor hit back.
She said:“The Community Action Group may have known about it, but nobody from around here is part of it.”
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