£600k to be spent on children’s playgrounds in Tameside

More than half a million pounds is to be spent improving children’s playgrounds in Tameside.

The town hall has outlined plans to renovate the borough’s 37 playgrounds, which have not had any ‘significant investment’ for more than a decade.

Some of the play equipment is getting beyond ‘economic repair’, according to the report presented to the monitoring panel, and needs removal or replacing. 

Spending £600k will also reduce the risk of personal injury claims against the council which can result from accidents on poor quality play equipment, officers say.

Cabinet member for finance, Coun Oliver Ryan said: “We promised to make this investment, I’m sure it was an election pledge as well and I’m quite pleased we’ve been able to make it. We can improve the space people live in which includes things like children’s playgrounds.”

Going forward it is intended that the maintenance budget will be reduced by upgrading the equipment, including swapping sand with rubber wetpour. The new play equipment will be ‘robust’ and should last another ten years once installed.

Bosses also considered funding a full refurbishment of all the equipment, but this was deemed too expensive amid squeezing budgets.

The investment in playgrounds had been in the pipeline since last year but was put on the back burner in the fall out of the Carillion collapse which saw the town hall’s capital programme paused.

Emma Varnam, assistant director for operations and neighbourhoods told members: “It’s been 12 years since we were able to do a wholesale improvement to our playgrounds.

“We feel both for safety and for the health and wellbeing of young people in the borough it’s important to make improvements. Whilst we would love to be able to replenish all of the playground equipment within the borough that would cost us in the region of £2 million.”

They intend to speak to ward councillors and share designs for each of the playgrounds, which all are due to have some changes and improvements.

“We would be able to then see some real change in some of our playground equipment which is well used and an excellent green asset for us and our residents,” Ms Varnam added.

Work would begin on replenishing playground equipment from January next year. All work is due to be completed by December 2021.

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