Council plans don’t play with local residents

By Calum Liddle, Myles Edwards and Constantine Innemee

Edinburgh City Council has defended its proposal to build a play park and community works costing over £275,000 despite local resistance.

Residents of Wardieburn Place East are opposed to the plans due to there being another toddler’s play area just a stones throw away, on Granton Crescent.

Local residents have voiced frustration over the vagueness of the proposals.

Illustrative plans for the public square were posted by a landscape company who have been commissionable to design a “toddler park”.

Norma Carlisle, who lives next to the site, said:
“A play park is not the answer to the problems in our area. We need something to keep the teenagers busy after school.

“We are completely in the dark about whether or not there is even going to be a play park, everyone is saying different things.”

A spokeswoman for Edinburgh City Council said: “The £275,000 is not just for the play park, it is for roads and pathway redesign and potentially also for a play park.

“It is only at the proposal stage, it still has to go to consultation where local residents will be able to voice their opinions.”

She added that here have been “no objections since the Community Council and Neighbourhood Partnership endorsed the plans that something will happen in the area”.

Alan Jackson conservative councillor for the area said: “There is obviously confusion as to what stage this is at. My understanding is that these proposals are still be put to the Neighbourhood Partnership.

“Regardless I have other priories and this amount of money seems far too much to develop these intentions.

“The Forth Ward inhabits 25,000 people. We need to spread funds wisely – I can understand why residents are irritated by this plan. It sounds ridiculous.”

The TaxPayers Alliance (TPA), a watchdog on council spending, also expressed concern over the excessive cost of the project.

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive at the TPA said:  “It’s ridiculous that the council have duplicated the same facility in the same area, and that they have not managed to produce quality activities for teenagers as they promised. With so many demands on so few resources, many taxpayers will think that yet another playpen is a wasteful allocation of money that could be put to far better use elsewhere.”