I am writing with regard to an letter written by Councillor Linda McGraw in connection with provision of play equipment for toddlers at Wirksworth Road, Kirk Hallam.
If I may be allowed to explain.
The borough council is currently completing another phase of its refurbishment and replacement programme for play areas across Erewash. The total amount of investment so far in this programme now exceeds £1.25 million. The play area at Sawley Park has recently been completed and replacement works to the Cobden Street play area in Long Eaton will be started during the course of the next two-to-three months.
The proposed refurbishment and extension at the Wirksworth Road play area will involve the existing play area being repainted together with new footpaths being installed together with the installation of a new jungle trail costing in excess of £20,000.
The consultation process was to give young people the opportunity to choose one of two options to be installed. Any play equipment that has had to be removed from the site will be returned once work has been completed.
The swings referred to by Councillor McGraw were removed as a precaution to stop children getting covered in paint during the refurbishment. I have also made enquiries into the remarks made by the same councillor that council officers indicated that any play equipment removed would not be returned.
I have found no evidence of this. In being responsible for the refurbishment or, where necessary, the complete replacement of over 45 play areas in the borough over the course of the last seven years, it has always been the policy of the council to ensure that young people, from toddlers to teenagers, have access to the most up to date and highest quality play equipment that can be provided.
This will continue to be the policy of the borough council at all times.
Councillor Mike Wallis,
Lead member for culture and leisure at Erewash Borough Council.