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Parish councillors plea for better play area consultation

Worcester Editorial 11th Oct, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

PARISH councillors have said they fear more children’s play areas could be closed without warning after it was confirmed a popular site in Warndon Villages will be flattened.

As we reported last month, work to tear down Howcroft Green play area in Great Meadow was stalled after Worcester City Council was forced to apologise for contacting the wrong city councillors.

But at a meeting of Warndon Parish Council on Monday (October 7) chairman Nick Fielden confirmed the site would be grassed over as they failed to find the £70,000 needed to rectify the damage.

Coun Fielden said discussions were ongoing over the future of about 15 play areas in Worcester, which council bosses believe are reaching the end of their life.

“From a parish council perspective, we clearly don’t have monies to start paying for rectification work – even one play area let alone 15,” Coun Fielden said.

“But we are very interested in being part of the discussions and conversations as to how to take this forward.”

He insisted it was crucial parish and city councillors met with the council regularly to keep them informed over future decisions.

Coun Ray Morris added he was also concerned they could have another Howcroft Green situation on their hands if regular meetings did not take place.

A spokesman from Worcester City Council said: “We have no plans to close any more play areas, but the budget constraints we are having to work within mean that we will need to take decisions in the future when play equipment is reaching the end of its working life. We need to ensure we secure the future of the higher quality play areas.

“It was a genuine oversight that Warndon Parish Council was not consulted about the decision to close Howcroft Green play area. We will ensure we consult with them in the future about any plans to make changes to play areas within the parish.”

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