Play areas ready for major upgrade

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THE council is to spend £500,000 on upgrading children’s play areas.

The money will pay for 12 to be improved over the next five years.

But that will still leave another 58 requiring attention which could take decades to complete.

Calderdale Council Cabinet was told that about £40,000 would be spent on each site, beginning with the worst first.

Council leader Janet Battye said: “In these hard times, with many families finding it difficult to afford a holiday, we want to give children something constructive and at the same time engage with the community.”

All 12 playgrounds have links to a community group or organisations which will be expected to help ensure they are properly looked after.

The playgrounds are at: The Stray, at Lightcliffe, Whitwell Green, Elland, Victoria Road, Hebden Bridge, Lane Head, Brighouse, Ashenhurst, Todmorden, Greetland Recreation Ground, Booth Village Recreation Ground, Ainley Top, Elland, St Augustine’s Terrace, Halifax, Higgin Lane, Southowram, Ashtree Road, Mixenden and Thornton Road, Rastrick.

There are 121 council-owned playgrounds and 51 have been refurbished since 2004 using money from a variety of sources, including Government and Lottery funding, parish councils and money from planning agreements.

The £500,000 the council has set aside will pay for new equipment but is unlikely to be enough to include work to paths and fences, the cabinet was told.

Community services spokeswoman Coun Pauline Nash said most play areas had community groups associated with them and some had money to help pay for further enhancements.