What will happen to our dilapidated play area?

Published on: 26 Aug 2016

Train

PARENTS  are hopeful that some of the battered play equipment in Bromley Heath Park will be repaired this month after another spate of vandalism.
But it seems the wooden play train might be coming to the end of the line. Downend Voice understands that South Gloucestershire Council is considering replacing it with a different piece of apparatus suitable for toddlers.
Much of the play equipment at Bromley Heath is outdated but financial constraints  and staffing problems mean the council is limited in what it can do to improve the park.
Residents have been complaining on social media for some time about the state of the facility and the Friends group, We Love Bromley Heath Park, has been pressing for action.
Members say there have been long delays in securing replacement parts for items vandalised earlier in the year. A scramble net removed in February and a rocker taken away in early July have not yet been replaced.
Matters got worse at the start of the school holidays, when teenage vandals struck again, causing fire damage to the train. Parents are also concerned about the state of the soft surfaces, the roundabout and the see-saw.
Sharon Herniman, vice chairman of the Friends, posted a strongly-worded message on Facebook at the end of July about the dilapidated state of the park.  “No one is going to be respectful of a place that is going to rack ’n’ ruin,” she said,
She urged people to contact the council with their concerns.
South Gloucestershire Council’s  anti-social behaviour team works with the police to combat anti-social behaviour at parks across the area. All play equipment is inspected weekly for safety.
It appears there are two problems with the train at Bromley Heath: it is difficult to get replacement parts and it is a magnet for teenagers, who like to sit on its roof.
It is believed the council is considering consulting parents about an alternative piece of toddler play equipment.
Meanwhile, hope is on the horizon for park users. Local resident Amy Bray was at the playground when an officer from the council visited to check out the latest problems.
She said: “I was at the park with a friend and our children when a lady who said she was from South Gloucestershire Council came over and was looking at the train.
“The lady said they were going to replace the floor and the train after the summer holidays but the problem was the roof as it was what the youths sit on and also it provides cover for them when it rains.
“Fingers crossed our play area and floor will finally get sorted as we used to enjoy coming here with our children but now feel it looks dirty and unkempt.”

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