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RIVERSIDE Drive is the latest play area to be refurbished by Melksham Town Council as part of its ongoing improvements to amenities and facilities within the town. The town council is ensuring that Wiltshire Council-owned and operated play areas in the town are not closed.
Riverside Drive joins Primrose Drive and King George V Park where town council investment this year has served to ensure that remedial works are undertaken to ensure that play equipment in the town remains available for the community to enjoy.
“It was made very clear to us that the surfaces on which the play equipment at Riverside Drive is located was in an unsafe condition and that closure of this play area was imminent,” explained Mayor of Melksham, Cllr Adrienne Westbrook. “The town council is determined to keep play areas open and available for the community to enjoy and therefore committed the necessary funds to carry out remedial repairs to the surface areas.
“We are keen to avoid any repetition of the situation earlier this year where Wiltshire Council took the decision to close the play area at Primrose Drive, which was only reopened following town council intervention to fund the necessary repairs.
“We understand that Wiltshire Council is facing enormous financial pressures at the current time, and the town council is determined to proactively ensure that play areas in Melksham remain open and in a safe condition. We are therefore in the process of discussing the transfer of responsibility for play areas to the town council in order that we can progress a programme of repairs to ensure that remedial works are undertaken to bring the play areas up to a safe standard.
“However, it is already apparent that the scale of the task is much, much more challenging than first anticipated and that significant investment will be required to undertake the necessary repairs to play areas within the town and that this will only be achieved on a phased basis. Nevertheless the town council remains committed to bringing play areas up to a safe standard and our ultimate goal is to refurbish and enhance the play equipment and facilities on offer, such that children and families have improved social and recreational facilities to enjoy.
“By 2019, for example, we are determined to install a splash pad within King George V Park to reintroduce a wet play facility for children following the closure of the much-loved and well-used paddling pool two years ago.
“These are challenging but exciting times and the town council is totally committed to exploring ways by which services for our community can be delivered and enhanced. Indeed, we’d be delighted to hear from individuals, families, children and community groups with any ideas or suggestions on how to improve the play areas within the town.”