Playground for disabled children axed by ‘couldn’t care less’ council
IN ITS prime, Old Fallings Adventure playground was one of the few play areas in Wolverhampton for children with severe disabilities thanks to its special equipment and staff who could help the youngsters.
But after years of budget cuts and vandalism on the site, the local authority has padlocked the gates, dismantled the equipment and barred the public from entering the area. Now it faces being replaced by 20 new houses.
For Claire Dainty, whose tenyear-old son Samuel has spent much of his childhood at Old Fallings, the closure smacks of a ‘couldn’t care less attitude’ by Wolverhampton Council.
Ms Dainty, 40, who is also treasurer for the charity Give Us A Break that took disabled children to the playground, said the only security measure the council had installed was an alarm. ‘We are furious that the council did nothing to protect the site after the first vandal attack,’ she said. ‘There is no other real facility like this and now we have to travel miles for the children.’
And while the council would not spend an estimated £60,000 to overhaul the site, bosses were happy to spend £5 million on a new market, originally meant to cost half the sum but which overran by £2.5 million.
A council spokesman said: ‘Old Fallings was a community facility on a secure site which had to be booked in advance in order to be used. It was also staffed and managed – it was not a traditional park with a playground in it.’