Town play areas could be improved after takeover

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 September 2012

The town council says the facilities will be improved through the transfer

The town council says the facilities will be improved through the transfer

Archant

WESTON'S play areas could soon see their facilities improved if a deal to transfer them from the district authority to the town council is finalised.

Weston Town Council is set to take on the running of North Somerset Council’s nine play areas from October, with town clerk Malcolm Nicholson saying the move could mean the equipment is improved for residents of the town.

Earlier this year North Somerset transferred the special expenses element of council tax – the charge Weston residents alone paid for the maintenance of play areas and recreation grounds.

Since then the authorities have been locked in discussions about transferring the responsibility for maintaining the sites, and at the town council’s policy and finance committee on Monday committee chairman Peter Crew said he believed the transfer of the play areas could be completed next month.

That would add the nine North Somerset-run facilities to the nine already operated by the town council.

He said staff were currently being trained and council officers were going through the final details of the plans.

He said: “We’re moving forward with it, we just need a face-to-face meeting with North Somerset to cross the t’s and dot i’s.”

Mr Nicholson said: “There are two councils and each has nine play areas in this town. It obviously makes sense for one council to operate 18 play areas and it make sense for the tax payer and the residents of this town.

Saying the town council facilities were ‘better managed than North Somerset’s, he continued: “We believe we can improve some of the play areas which perhaps could do with a bit of an improvement.

“We think we could have better play areas for the people of this town and we believe that then becomes more efficient and a better service.”

Discussions about the transfer of the six recreation grounds will be ongoing.

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