Monday, 8 October 2012

Call for playpark roundabouts to be replaced

I recently highlighted the concerns of local residents and their children over the missing roundabout in the Roseangle playpark - see right.     Now the children's roundabout in Victoria Park has also disappeared and residents have contacted me seeking assurances that the disappearing roundabouts will be restored or replaced soon.

I took up the issue on behalf of constituents whose children are most disappointed that, perhaps the favourite pieces of play equipment at the local parks, had disappeared.    Having contacted the City Council’s Environment Department about this, I am advised that the roundabouts have been removed following safety concerns about the central spindle of the equipment.

An Environment Department official advised me

“The roundabout at Magdalen Green and at Victoria Park are both of the same manufacturer (Wickstead).  Unfortunately the centre spindle on which these roundabouts rotate are no longer available to purchase.   This design is approximately 40 years old and the spindles in question around 30 years old.   

The spindles at both of these sites were severely worn - therefore the roundabout removed for safety reasons.

We are currently looking at the best alternative to these roundabouts but no similar model is available.

The other consideration is resources - the cost to remove foundations of the old roundabouts and replace with a new model may be circa £4000 per unit so when we have settled on the best alternative we must consider affordability.”

Whilst I am pleased that the council is looking at alternatives, I am adamant that the playpark roundabouts must be replaced.    There’s been comparatively little spent on these West End playparks in many years compared to some other playparks and I’ve also made the point that the roundabouts have been really well-used over the years.  The council owes it to local children to give them back their roundabouts.

We discussed the situation at the Friends of Magdalen Green committee meeting recently given that the Roseangle playpark is adjacent to the Green.    The point was made that there’s been nothing in the way of new play equipment given to these playparks in recent years so taking away the children’s roundabouts would not be acceptable.