SIR, — The first that I and my fellow Marshalswick North LibDem councillors knew about the small play area at Runcie Close, St Albans, being removed was when local resident Tom Hewins phoned on Monday morning, February 16. After going to have a look at th
SIR, - The first that I and my fellow Marshalswick North LibDem councillors knew about the small play area at Runcie Close, St Albans, being removed was when local resident Tom Hewins phoned on Monday morning, February 16.
After going to have a look at the site for myself I contacted the district council to find out why it was being removed and what plans there were to replace the swing. I was informed that in 2005, when the play area on Sandringham Crescent was upgraded, a decision was made not to replace the Runcie Close play area as and when it reached the end of its safe life.
On hearing this I made inquiries about the possibility of Sandridge Parish Council providing a replacement. The district council would have no objection to this so I have asked for it to be an agenda item at the next recreation grounds committee meeting on March 4. As a member of this committee I will be strongly advocating that the parish council do replace, and possibly enhance, the play area. Even if Sandridge Parish Council agrees, it will take some time to arrange.
It is disappointing that neither the parish council nor local district councillors were informed that this play area was going to be removed at the beginning of half-term week. Had we known of the district council's intentions, we could have worked together to ensure local children were not without their swing for weeks.
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I was also surprised to see that Cllr Beric Read had put out a letter to local residents claiming that I and my colleagues had not responded to consultations on the removal of the swing and indeed "couldn't be bothered to find out if local people wanted to keep this facility open". While Beric was wasting his time producing and delivering a wholly inaccurate letter, I was finding out the real facts and then taking steps to get new equipment for local residents.
CLLR JANET CHURCHARD,
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Marshalswick North Ward, St Albans District Council.