Anger over playground removal
PEOPLE in Kidwelly are furious after the county council dismantled a children’s play park amid claims no-one wanted to look after it.
Kidwelly Town Councillor Andrew Jenkins wrote on Facebook that he and fellow councillors were told the play equipment at Parc Pendre was to be replaced as part of a new park in a new housing estate in the area. But, on Twitter, the county council confirmed there were no plans to replace the equipment once removed.
Resident Karen Evans said: “It’s not only Parc Pendre kids that use it – half of Kidwelly uses it. People who shop in the Co-op take the children there, and school children, [and even] holidaymakers also use it. I can’t understand why it is being taken away when so many people use it.”
Fellow town councillor Chris Peters-Bond said: “It is bitterly disappointing to see that Carmarthenshire Council has taken the decision to remove the park equipment from the playground, and to do this without informing the local community. The first residents knew of the removal was when workmen were seen cutting up play equipment.
“With more than 100 homes in the vicinity of the park, and the county council proposing to develop further council housing nearby, it is also disappointing that they seem to have changed their minds on providing a new playground to replace the much-loved but neglected equipment in the park as part of their development plans.”
Carmarthenshire Council has said the playground was to be decommissioned as there was “no interest” shown in taking over its management.
Councillor David Jenkins, executive board member for resources, said: “The playground at Parc Pendre had been offered to Kidwelly Town Council as part of our Community Asset Transfer Programme however no interest was shown.
“Subsequently we are following the protocol as laid out in the programme, and in accordance with an executive board decision on February 26, 2018, to decommission the facility.
“The Community Asset Transfer Programme involved discussions and meetings with community and town councils, sporting and community groups to encourage local management of facilities. Notices were placed at the Parc Pendre playground in April advising of the removal of equipment.”
Kidwelly Town Council has refuted the county council’s claims that “no interest was shown”.
Clerk Virginia O’Reilly said: “Under the Community Asset Transfer Programme Kidwelly Town Council has already taken over the running and maintenance of four play areas to prevent their closure.
“However, Parc Pendre play area lies at the entrance to a proposed housing development which has outline planning permission. The park would be demolished if the development were to go ahead.
“The council carefully considered whether it were viable to take over a park which had a limited future. To say that Kidwelly Town Council had shown no interest was not at all accurate and does not reflect the commitment the council has to providing facilities for the community.”
Parc Pendre in Kidwelly after council workers began dismantling equipment.