Library Road playground has “degraded” since loss of supervision

by Gary Ibbotson

People Before Profit leader and Dun Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett has called on Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) to immediately restore supervision to the playground at Library Road.

The playground had been supervised for the past 30 years before the service was pulled by social care providers Crosscare in December.

At the time, Deputy Boyd Barrett said he was hoping the local authority, which owns the property, would “step in and retain the supervision by employing supervisors or identifying some of the other agency that will take over the supervision”.

News of the planned cut to the amenity surfaced last summer as Deputy Boyd Barrett and Cllr Melissa Halpin (PBP) began working with the playground employees and local families to try to persuade the council to keep the supervision.

However, when supervision of the playground ended, DLRCC did not reinstate the service, and the two assigned supervisors lost their job as a result.

The playground is now opened and closed by a private security company, which DLRCC is paying €240 plus VAT a week for the service.

Deputy Boyd Barrett says the security company has sometimes failed to deliver on the service as there have been days when the playground has not been opened, while on Monday, February 17, the gates were left open until after 8pm.

Deputy Boyd Barrett said: “Within weeks of the supervision being removed from the Library Road playground, our worst fears and predictions have been proven correct. 

“The playground has been severely degraded as an amenity for children and the community. 

“Parents and children are turning up to find the playground locked when it is supposed to be open.

“In one case, a young child was told to leave and was not allowed back in to get his bag even though it should still have been open,” he said.

Overall, DLRCC will be paying €30,000 a year to the security company for the service, which Deputy Boyd Barrett says is a “disgrace”.

“We are now calling on the council to restore the supervision as a matter of emergency,” he added.

In a statement, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it “is committed to the provision of quality,” of the Library Road playground.

It said: “Since January 6, the county council have engaged the services of a security contractor to open and close the playground on each opening day.”

It said it is not aware of any complaints relating to the operation of the playground.

“This is a short-term arrangement while improvements to the current infrastructure at the site on Library road are being planned by the council,” it said.

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