Rundown playpark ‘a danger to kids’

Mr Todhunter surveys the damage at the Millennium Park
Mr Todhunter surveys the damage at the Millennium Park

A Kirkcaldy grandfather is calling on Fife Council to either repair a “dangerous” and rundown playpark near to his home or remove it altogether.

Ronnie Todhunter (69), of Mauchline Grove, says the Millennium Park on the site of the former Kirkcaldy Junior High School is in such a poor state of repair that the one piece of play equipment on it has been locked up for at least several weeks, if not longer.

But he says the padlock on the gate is doing nothing to deter groups of teenagers from congregating and climbing on the equipment, which is surrounded by dug up tarmac and broken glass.

“The other night there were around 15 teenagers climbing on it. The fence around it is quite low, so they just climb over the top.

“There is loads of bits of broken tarmac and broken bottles lying around and the climbing frame itself doesn’t look in a very good state of repair either.

“I think if the council is not going to maintain it then they would be as well removing it altogether so nobody gets hurt.

“They seem to be spending lots of money on building new playparks when there are ones like this which would cost a lot less if they looked after them. I don’t understand their thinking.

“There are lots of children in this estate and along Templehall Avenue who would use the park if it was properly cared for. As it is my daughter and many other people won’t even walk around the path as it is usually covered in broken glass.

“I phoned the council the other day and was given a number for the playpark person, but I couldn’t get hold of her and left a message.

“The next thing council workers were out to clean up the glass and broken tarmac, so it looks a bit better at the moment but that won’t last long.”

Councillor Neil Crooks, who represents the area, said he was aware of the problem.

“This has been a gathering area for youths for a long time and there has been anti-social behaviour affecting residents. We’re considering options and one of these is sadly taking it away because we don’t have the money to keep fixing it.”

Clair Lovett, Fife Council’s parks development officer, said: “No decisions have been taken on the park’s future as we need to speak to the local community and take their views into consideration. This consultation will be carried out as soon as possible. In the meantime we’ll make sure the site is monitored and cleared more regularly.”