No Council budget for play park repairs

Mr Logue, and a group of local children, on the site where the swings were removed and never replaced.
Mr Logue, and a group of local children, on the site where the swings were removed and never replaced.

The Comhairle have insisted their hands are tied due to budget restraints leaving them unable to repair and replace town play park facilities.

But one furious Cearns resident is leading a charge against the Council in a bid to kickstart a process he says has been going on for over 18-months.

Norman Logue says that a swingset was removed from one of the Cearns’ playparks , while a roundabout in another neighbouring playpark has been fenced in for the same length of time, leaving children unable to use it.

Mr Logue insists he has been in regular contact with the Comhairle and his local councillor throughout the time period with no action taken.

He said: “The swings were working fine and the kids enjoyed playing on them, but 18-months ago they were taken away for apparent health and safety.

“Since then I have been in regular contact with my local councillor and technical services at the council but most of the time they ignore me.

“All we want is the swings back for the kids as the Cearns has a large number of kids. I’m going to start a petition and go round all the houses in the hope the council can finally do something about this.”

A Comhairle spokesperson said: “There are over 90 playparks in the Western Isles, between council owned, community owned and those within the school estate.

“Increased pressure on budgets and the need to replace damaged or dangerous equipment has led to the requirement for a review of policy to ensure a network of playparks which is sustainable into the future.

“We are fortunate that our young children do have many safe areas in which to play, both structured and natural, and where possible the council remains committed to contributing to this provision, along with its partners and community bodies.

“It is regrettable that equipment has to be removed from playparks but this is always on grounds of safety to users. There is no budgetary provision at present to replace faulty equipment.

“Following a review of Play Park provision due this summer, the Comhairle will confirm the future investment programme for Play Parks.”