Play parks across the borough need to be better maintained.
That is the view of one local councillor who has asked that more be done in relation to the upkeep of the facilities.
And SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon is seeking a more joined-up approach between departments on Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to ensure facilities are kept in pristine condition.
He made his calls at a meeting of the leisure committee this week and ahead of a forthcoming workshop to discuss plans for further investment for play provision across the borough.
“Council is in the process of confirming its next phase of investment in our play park infrastructure and, whilst I am keen to see a programme of continuous investment in children’s play areas, I am also keen to see investment in the way we maintain any play areas the council provide,” said Councillor O’Hanlon.
“I find it mind-boggling that we have three separate departments within council responsible for play parks; Leisure Services are responsible for providing new play areas, whereas Estates are responsible for the maintenance of equipment and Environmental Services are responsible for cleaning the parks and emptying their bins.
“This is convoluted and complex and it also is a real silo mentality.
“We are planning a workshop to discuss our plans for future investment in play across the council but I firmly believe we need to tie in maintenance and cleaning of the existing and new play parks to any future plans.
“There is little or no point in investing in new equipment if we don’t intend to look after, maintain and clean what we install.
“As a local representative I am inundated with complaints about the state of our play parks, and a simple annual cycle of power washing, painting and repaints would go some way to improve our parks.
“Furthermore, more regular cleaning of and emptying of the bins in parks is another issue that can be easily addressed. As we plan for the future, I want to see us get the basics right.”