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A POPULAR children’s play area in Melksham has been closed by Wiltshire Council and won’t be re-opened until they can pay for the flooring to be fixed.
Local people have expressed their shock and frustration after finding that Primrose Drive Play Area had been shut by Wiltshire Council last month due to safety reasons.
Wiltshire and Melksham Town Councillor Jon Hubbard who campaigned for the park to be installed said, “I’m furious. I had no idea that they were going to do this, which is appalling. I only found out when I saw the bolt on the gate.
“We are all aware that Wiltshire Council are strapped for cash, but what is particularly irritating is that the town council has set aside a specific fund to fix or replace broken play equipment in our play areas so instead of shutting Primrose Drive Play Area, why didn’t they speak to Melksham Town Council about using the funds?
“If Wiltshire Council did what we want them to do, and hand over Melksham’s parks and play areas to the town council, then this wouldn’t be happening.
“What is worrying is that Wiltshire Council can shut our parks and play areas with no notice and without consultation with the town council. How many more will they shut down overnight without consulting the town council first?
“It is insane that when, despite there being a source of funding available, Wiltshire Council still refuse to do what is right for the people.
“It’s a popular park and well used by lots of children in Melksham but it’s more than just a facility for children, it’s an important social hub for parents and what Wiltshire Council have done is take this facility away from them. It’s a disgrace.”
One parent who used the park said, “It’s been shut for weeks, it’s a joke. It has always been a crap park but was handy to let the kids loose. The nearest park is now Melksham park and that’s a shambles as well, but don’t worry, there’s an all singing, all dancing skate park. Just what a toddler needs!”
A Wiltshire Council spokesperson said, “We inspect playgrounds weekly to ensure they are safe and we’ve had to close this playground temporarily as the floor tiles need replacing. The council is currently investigating funding the repair works. This would include working with the town council or identifying planning funding available for the area.”