Families in Golcar have met with council officers to have their say after play equipment was removed without warning.

The play equipment in Rufford Road was ripped out back in November leaving families in the area angry and fearing it wouldn’t be replaced.

Earlier this week a public meeting was held in which Kirklees Council officers apologised for the way the play equipment was removed without proper consultation.

The officers said that because of cuts to council funding they could not realistically promise to simply replace the equipment that was removed.

But no decision will be made until after a review of all Kirklees play spaces concludes in May.

Now, local residents are looking to set up a community group to give them a voice and look at working with the council for alternative funding options and a more natural and less costly play area.

Richard Murgatroyd, Labour candidate for Golcar ward, said: “Residents expressed some great ideas at the meeting. A natural play approach for Rufford Road Park would mean altering the landscape to encourage play opportunities. So kids can run and roll about, with new pathways that parents could use to teach their kids to cycle safely and a chance for children to learn how to plant trees.

“Although the cuts are drastically reducing the ability of the council to maintain current play spaces the officers present were clearly listening and committed to maintaining the best possible service they could with the resources available. Its important to be cost effective and a natural play site would be cheaper to install and maintain.

“This meeting clearly showed there is a desire to get things moving locally. Its now vital that Kirklees Council allocate resources to develop these play sites properly so future generations can benefit.”

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Golcar councillor Andrew Marchington, who was also the meeting said: “Residents are looking to set up a ‘Friend group’ and myself and Clr Christine Iredale are working with residents to help support this.”

Matthew Reid, one of the residents who started the recent petition said: “We had a really good meeting with some positive feedback and are looking to set up a community group”.

Resident Tracey Bodle added: “I really hope that having natural play areas will inspire kids to want to spend more time in our natural environment.”

The current site at Rufford Road has been covered over with soil but remains fenced off.