Marsden residents call for improvements to community playground after equipment removed but not replaced

Grange Terrace resident David Norcliffe says that Dirker Recreation Ground is now too under-equipped to serve the area

Marsden residents have called for improvements to a community playground after popular equipment that proved to be faulty was removed but not replaced.

Grange Terrace resident David Norcliffe is leading the call to have a large see-saw swing re-installed at Dirker Recreation Ground, which he says was promised to the neighbourhood by Kirklees Council over one year ago.

Employees took away the giro spiral equipment from the park, which is the only play area of its type on the north side of the village, after discovering there were serious faults with its braking system.

However officers have not replaced it or the other four similar objects from other playgrounds in Kirklees, which altogether cost around £19,000, due to uncertainty over available budgets.

Mr Norcliffe, who has two grandchildren, said that the park is now under-equipped for the amount of people living in the area.

He said: “We were told that we’d get another one when it was removed but it never happened.

“Now when we go up there is hardly anything there for older children, which is a real shame.

“I can’t understand why they would take something out and not replace it.

“Children need a good and safe place to play that has enough equipment to make them want to go to it but they are just going to go elsewhere at this rate.”

Colne Valley councillor Donna Bellamy pledged to follow up the request after the annual council meeting.

She said: “It’s a shame that nothing is here and I will follow this up to see if something can be done.

“Something needs to be replaced because the park is short of equipment.

A council spokesperson said: “Safety is our highest priority, and in the case of the unit at Dirker, the braking mechanism had become worn beyond repair and the unit had to be removed.

“Given the current financial climate and the substantial cost of replacing these items, we are now looking at what equipment would be best used as a replacement.

“Given the manufacturer concerns and the accidents we know about, we could not risk leaving this piece of equipment in the play area without the correct safety measures being in place.”

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