Council reacts to local playground concerns

by Gazette Reporter

FOLLOWING the success of the Swords Needs Playgrounds group and the two new playgrounds at Swords Manor and Thornleigh (Applewood), a number of residents and local representatives have expressed their concerns about the lack of a pedestrian crossing at the Swords Manor playground, and the resulting danger to the children who frequent it.
This issue was raised at a recent area meeting and, following enquiries, residents were informed by Fingal County Council that the multi-use games area (MUGA) is expected to be completed over the next few weeks.
The council said that it is not intended to complete the roadside path at this location as the only pedestrian entrances to the park are at Park Avenue and the pedestrian crossing at the shopping centre.
It is intended to connect the playground and the games area to the path network in the park, including the path that crosses the valley.
The council said that the procurement process has already begun and in the meantime a chipped bark path will provide a clean connection to the pedestrian entrance at the pedestrian crossing from the shopping centre.
Many residents in the area were also interested to know whether repairs would be made to the Rathingle playground, which had been damaged by vandals.
They directed their queries to Cllr Darragh Butler (FF) who contacted the local officials in charge to ask when the necessary repairs would be carried out.
In response, the council told Cllr Butler: “Play items were removed from this playground due to vandalism. Repairs were carried out, but the repeated attacks ultimately resulted in play items being removed when it was no longer possible to carry out effective repairs.
“A small budget has been identified to install replacement play items and prices are being sought from suppliers at the moment.
“Given the rigours of the public procurement process, it is not expected that the new equipment will be installed before the summer.”
On the council’s reply, Cllr Butler said: “I expressed my disappointment that the repair would not take place before the summer.
“Council officials did say that they would be eager to work with a community/parents group regarding this playground, who might be able to work with the council to ensure any new items put in are not vandalised.”
He added that this sort of relationship, which includes the community gardai, has been working with regard to the two new playgrounds, and asked that any local residents who are interested in taking part contact him and he would pass on their details.
He said: “I think this would be a really good idea. As a community, we need to stand up to these thugs and to not allow any new playground items that go in to be repeatedly vandalised.”

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