Council finally takes over play area after eight year delay

Posted on Monday 24th January 2011 at 12:02 am by SH (Editor)

Cllr Pat Rooney pictured at the play area

A local council has finally taken on responsibility for a children’s play area in Kingswood eight years after it was built.

The play area at the corner of Oakridge Close and Jubilee Place was built at the end of 2002 by Western Challenge Housing Association as part of a small development of eight houses. The land, formerly Council garages and a playground, was transferred to Western Challenge by South Gloucestershire Council because the garages were underused and being vandalised.

As part of the planning application a smaller play area was provided and the local Council was supposed to take ownership soon after development was finished.

However, it has taken eight years and pressure from the local councillors for the area before South Gloucestershire Council has finally taken over ownership.

Local councillors for the area Roger Coales, Andy Perkins and Pat Rooney (Labour, Woodstock) said:

“Normally the transfer of play areas to the local Council takes around a year after building work finishes, but this one just kept dragging on. Eight years must be a record for the length of time a transfer like this has taken.”

The local councillors had repeatedly pressed the Council to speed-up the transfer process and even sought the help of the Council’s Executive Councillor with responsibility for play areas in May 2008 to see if she could move things on. However, it has still taken almost three further years before the transfer was finalised.

Part of the reason why councillors pressed for the transfer to take place was a number of incidents of vandalism, graffiti and general litter in the play area that were not being dealt with.

Gareth Manson, who works with the councillors on their campaigns added:

“It was quite difficult to get the play area cleaned up when the Council was not responsible for its maintenance. And when a play area isn’t looked after, it isn’t a very inviting place for parents to bring their children to play. Now that the Council is responsible it should make any future problems much easier to resolve.”

Any future problems of graffiti, litter etc. can now be reported to South Gloucestershire Council’s StreetCare department on 01454 868000 or streetcare@southglos.gov.uk.

Source: Woodstock Labour Councillors

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