Playfield left in bad a state

THIS is a copy of a letter I have sent to East Devon District Council: I am writing to complain about the state of King George s field in Carter Avenue, Exmouth.

THIS is a copy of a letter I have sent to East Devon District Council:

I am writing to complain about the state of King George's field in Carter Avenue, Exmouth. Despite the play equipment being re-painted in 2008, two pieces of play equipment have now been removed; the main one being the climbing frame and slide which you had removed around December 2008. I and other parents were expecting this to be replaced within a couple of months or at least once the new financial year came around, however, this has not been the case.

I rang the council in June 2009 and was told that you were dealing with this. You advised your colleague to tell me that the play equipment was removed for health and safety reasons. Your colleague also advised me the equipment would not be replaced until the next financial year, April 2010, depending on funds. I have to say I find this totally unacceptable and absurd.

Firstly, apart from some rust, there did not appear to be much wrong with the equipment. Other parents to whom I have spoken have also said they had not noticed anything that would require the play equipment to be removed.


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Secondly, in comparison to the parks I used to play in as a child, there was definitely no problem with this one that could not have waited until you had the new equipment ready to go in.

Is this health and safety issue not just getting a bit ridiculous and out of hand? Surely some signs saying 'use at your own risk' and 'parents should take responsibility for their children' would have worked in this case.

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Following the removal of the climbing frame and slide, in particular, I am annoyed at the state the park has been left in. If the council is so worried about health and safety, why have they not filled in the potholes where this equipment used to be? Instead, they have been left and are now much bigger due to children and/or teenagers removing the rubber flooring and throwing it all over the park.

My son actually fell into and tripped over one of these potholes the other day while running around the park. However, I take responsibility for mine and my children's health and safety and am aware that accidents are part of life. I find it very sad we appear to be becoming a nanny state.

Children need play equipment, such as climbing frames, in order to learn and build up body strength, but the main reason being to keep them fit. The Government has been campaigning to try to keep obesity levels down and get the population fitter, so why was funding for the park not provided for in April 2009?

This park used to be really busy, attracting families from all over Exmouth, now it seems to be fairly empty, especially on weekends, in comparison to last summer. I have even overheard someone say what a nice park it used to be, but not since play equipment was removed and litter and rubber are strewn all over the grass.

I would like the council's assurance they are definitely putting some funding into the park in April 2010 and that the play equipment will be replaced in April, or as soon as possible thereafter.

In the meantime, I hope you will at least repair the flooring so that it does not look such a state.

Name and address supplied

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