An unexpected letter informing Burntisland Community Council of a decision to remove equipment from a popular playpark has sparked an outcry.
Angry parents whose children use the West Links playpark, known locally as the Spider Park because of its spider climbing frame, say they were given no warning and have vowed to oppose any plans to remove the equipment until a pledge that it will be replaced is given.
In its letter, Fife Council said a recent inspection had “identified the equipment as reaching the end of its safe operating life” and that it planned to remove it “in the interests of public safety.”
However the town’s three councillors have promised that the equipment will not be removed before discussions on the various options available have taken place.
The letter to the Community Council was published on its Facebook site, with a response saying that “members of the BCC were shocked at this sudden development. This play area is very, very popular with a specific age group of children and the BCC wishes to be fully involved in any consultation. We have therefore asked Fife Council to be kept informed of any discussions or meetings so that they can contribute.”
Anne Robertson Morrison, who takes her grandchildren to the park, commented: “It is right next to the car park and is well used. Agreed some of the equipment needs upgrading but to close it down is rather drastic.
“I think the Council needs to make it clearer just what its intentions are. How much money is required and how much it is prepared to pay?”
Anne Farquhar, who lives in the High St with her children Runa (3) and Cassie (2), said they visit almost every day.
“It is a great place for preschool children and my children love it. It would be very sad if the equipment was taken away without being replaced.”
Councillor Peter George said: “I will do my upmost to ensure that this play park will remain in situ with new play equipment installed.”
Councillor George Kay commented: “I have secured an understanding from the parks department that nothing will be done to the park until officers have had the opportunity to meet with councillors and the engineers to discuss the future and to be much clearer as to the way ahead.
“I welcome this development and look forward to establishing this meeting in the next few days.”
And Councillor Susan Leslie added: “There are numerous safety issues here, which must be the main priority. All three councillors want to work with the Council and community on the various options for the site, and a meeting will be held soon.”