Future of seven Barrow playgrounds in doubt

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5 September 2017 7:46PM

CONTROVERSIAL plans to close a number of playgrounds will save the council more than £13,000, it has been claimed.

Families across Barrow were furious last month after a number of parks were suddenly closed in the middle of the school holidays.

The town's borough council will debate the plans to close seven playgrounds as they predict savings of £13,247.

Among those listed for closure is the park at Dowie Close. Gill Jepson, whose grandchildren use the park regularly, slammed the council decision.

With these spaces closed and the problems with litter all over the place it's starting to look like a shanty town

She said: "We've had kids playing in there all summer. Playgrounds aren't going to have kids in all the time but they're an important facility for the children.

"There's got to be a contingency plan from the council. They need to find a way to make these viable and work. Kids still need safe places to go and play.

"They're not going to attract people to the town if there's nowhere for families. With these spaces closed and the problems with litter all over the place it's starting to look like a shanty town.

"They've got to think about this. It beggars belief what they're doing."

While the council has identified the playground for closure, it is one of three, alongside parks at Rusland Avenue and Storey Square, Dalton, it is welcoming management proposals for.

There were mixed reactions, however, over a park behind Lakeland Avenue and Pembroke Close, in Barrow.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "We wanted it closed down when we first moved here because we had children throwing things at the house and running off. There was lots of trouble from there.

"Kids have to have somewhere to play but that park's not safe. It's a tragedy waiting to happen.

"There's no houses overlooking it and there's the river and all the trees. There's teenagers drinking in there a lot."

Despite this, another resident spoke of her disappointment at the looming closure.

Jenny Cutcliffe said: "I wouldn't say there's a lot of crime there. Everywhere has a bit of permanent marker on it.

"One of the reasons we moved here was for my kids to use the park and have somewhere to play. I will be disappointed if it's shut."

The playground at Sandy Gap, Walney, has also been listed for closure, with swings at the park recently removed.

Barrow Borough Council will also discuss future management of parks at Biggar Village, Walney, and Talisman Close, Barrow.

Samantha Craig, whose children often use the latter, said: "We don't know why it's closed down. We're all hoping it stays open.

"All the kids around here in the street play in it and they can't at the minute. It's rather annoying.

"I just can't understand it. There's been no explanation or letter."

Another resident, who also wished to remain anonymous said: "It's been locked up for weeks but it doesn't stop the older kids who just climb over the fence. It's a shame for the little ones who can't play there or in the street. There's a lot of children on this street and it's quite well used."

The closures will be discussed at a meeting of Barrow Borough Council's executive committee on Wednesday.

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