Weston play areas face the axe while Portishead goes ahead

CHILDREN living in Weston will not be able to enjoy two new games areas due to cutbacks made by North Somerset Council.

CHILDREN living in Weston will not be able to enjoy two new games areas due to cutbacks made by North Somerset Council.

A project to install multi-use games areas in Ashcombe Park, off Milton Road, and Aller Parade, on the Oldmixon estate, was approved in February.

These would have enabled children and young people to play a range of different ball games, including football and basketball, on a safe surface.

Similar schemes were planned for Clevedon and Portishead but, due to the latest cash cuts, the only new games area will be built in Portishead.

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Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, executive member for planning, highways and economic development, said: “As we inherited the plans for these projects from the previous administration, we were concerned about the cost of these new games areas.”

Mike Bell, the Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate, has criticised the council’s decision.

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He said: “Communities in Oldmixon and Ashcombe want more facilities for children and young people to help provide a positive focus and tackle antisocial behaviour.

“The bottom line is that despite going through a consultation and tendering process on these projects, the council is delivering nothing to Weston.

“We have already seen cuts to affordable homes and community safety funding and now cuts to youth facilities.”

Cllr Ap Rees said: “We are prepared to admit we are facing budget pressures across the whole of the council and therefore we want to know how much these schemes are going to cost us.

“We have decided to go ahead with the project in Portishead as this was the most advanced out of the three.

“Once that is up and running, we will carry out a review of all costs associated with it, particularly for the maintenance of the area.

“The projects in Clevedon and Weston have not been cancelled altogether. If the play area in Portishead is successful we will reconsider them.”

Cllr Ap Rees said the games area in Portishead should hopefully be finished by the end of October, but there has been no time scale set for when a review will take place.

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