Playparks closed until further notice

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Playparks in Oban and Mull have been closed because of damaged play equipment.

A notice has been placed at the site in Oban, next to the Atlantis Leisure Centre by Argyll and Bute Council, instructing visitors that the play park is closed until further notice.

The playpark at Tobermory has also been closed.

In Oban, parents have commented that some areas of the park appear unsafe and there have also been reports of older children congregating there after dark and there being a potential safety risk.

Councillor Jim Lynch, for Oban, South and the Isles, said the most important thing was the safety of children and then getting the play park reopened.

The damaged equipment was highlighted during an annual safety inspection.

Councillor Lynch said some of the items at the park had been found  unsafe during the check, and it was necessary to have them repaired before it could reopen.

Efforts were being made by councillor Elaine Robertson to establish responsibility for maintenance, he said.

The council was asked who was responsible for the maintenance of the playpark but did not provide an answer in its statement.

A spokesperson for the council said: ‘Annual inspections, by accredited outdoor playpark specialists, have highlighted damage to a couple of pieces of equipment in playparks in Tobermory and at Atlantis in Oban – damage caused mainly through wear and tear.

‘We always take a safety-first approach and so have temporarily closed both playparks.

‘We are taking steps to find out how quickly these repairs can be addressed.’

When The Oban Times asked the council exactly what Oban playpark had failed on and questioned some reports that part of the area’s ground covering had become ‘spongey’, a spokesperson for Argyll & Bute insisted safety inspections had not ‘failed’.

The council spokesperson said: ‘The playpark has not failed its inspection. Repairs are required on individual pieces of equipment to bring them fully back to standard. We would expect that in equipment that has been well-used which is why we organise annual inspections. The inspector found no issues with the ground covering.’

The popular playpark only reopened in January after it closed in March 2018 following sections of the flooring becoming hazardous.

Work to get the five-year-old  playpark back up and running stalled a number of times before the gates could open to the £334,000 facility funded by community events and grants.

Covid restrictions have also seen the gates to the playpark shut for a considerable time this year.