over two-year wait for 'vital' play area safety improvements
residents have this week hit out at district council bosses after
they said vital safety improvements for two public play areas
will not go ahead until the year 2014.
Town councillors are unhappy that Teresa Harvey, Sedgemoor District
Council's Group Manager of Community Development and Wellbeing,
says work to improve the play areas in Talbot Close (pictured
above) and Stilings Close is not scheduled to begin for two years
because neither has a high priority and no staff are available
to oversee the work.
a meeting on Monday (November 5th), town councillors vented their
frustrations over the delays.
Louise Parkin said: "Talbot Close is out of sight and sadly
out of mind for Sedgemoor. It has been overlooked for many years
and nothing will get done until there's an accident here. It's
a ridiculous situation that can't go on. There will be a heck
of an injury claim."
Clerk Eileen Shaw admitted that the Town Council "seems to
be up against a brick wall with no progress in getting the work
Dennis Davey suggested that because the 'RLT2' funding allocated
to improving the play areas is time-limited that the Town Council
undertake the improvements and charge the work to Sedgemoor when
it is complete. "The money may be lost altogether if it's
not started soon, so I suggest we do it ourselves."
Cllr Neville Jones said he would be concerned about insurance
at the play area if the Town Council were to proceed. "If
a child was injured in an accident after the Town Council had
refurbished the play area, would we be responsible or would it
be Sedgemoor as the owner?"
Cllr Helen Groves also aired concerns. "Improvements are
desperately needed here, but I don't see why we should take on
Sedgemoor's responsibilities. The district council needs to make
proper provision for the park."
Chris Williams said that "clear guidelines are needed from
Sedgemoor District Council before any work is undertaken. We need
to meet with the park officers and ensure that if we carry out
any work that they will refund the costs and that proper safeguards
are put in place for the Town Council."
Gray from Highbridge Residents Association, pictured at the Talbot
Close play area, recently told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "It's
such a shame that such a well-used play area as this has not been
touched by the council since it was built many years ago."
councillors hope to meet Sedgemoor's park team in the coming weeks
to discuss the matter further. Burnham-On-Sea.com recently featured
the park's condition here.
Cllr Alan Miller supported this and added that he would want to
be involved, having campaigned on the matter for several years.
Top, Tina Gray from Highbridge Residents Association at the Talbot
Close play area and, centre, the play area in Highbridge's Stiling
Close and, above, the town council in its meeting