Reversal over Northampton's broken public play areas could once more see old equipment replaced

Damaged play areas could be restored
Damaged play areas could be restored

Play equipment damaged beyond  repair could begin to be replaced once more under a change of policy by  Northampton Borough Council.

The Chron reported two weeks ago that councillor officers were complaining that budget restrictions have prevented the local authority from replacing irreparably damaged equipment.

A report concluded that the borough council can do little apart from manage the current play areas into decline.

But Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, has now announced his intention to prioritise play equipment as an important community asset, to which he will allocate £100,000.

Councillor Hallam said: “The report which was prepared ahead of the meeting this evening gave an overview of what our position has been. However, it does not reflect the fact that I am proposing that we change our approach.

“I believe that safe, well-maintained play equipment is incredibly important to our local communities and has a key role to play in keeping our children fit and active.

"That’s why I am proposing the introduction of a policy that will ensure that play equipment in the Borough is replaced in a way that reflects local priorities and need."

Councillor Hallam said he had found a "potential budget" and was keen to move as quickly as possible to develop a plan on replacing damaged items.”

Work to repair and replace existing equipment is currently underway at several play areas including play areas in the Racecourse, Eastfield Park and Parklands Open Space.

In future, the council said it will now look to develop a fair system of allocation that will support a sustainable programme of repairs and replacements across the borough.