Council in Discussions with Contractor to Resolve Play Area Issues

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Brighton and Hove City Council has commenced talks with Eibe Play, the contractor responsible for the refurbishment of Middle Park, following significant problems that resulted in the play area’s closure. This action comes in response to rising community pressure and a petition from a local councillor representing the Whitehawk and Marina ward.

Middle Park, situated on Whitehawk Way, recently underwent a £120,000 refurbishment as part of a larger initiative to improve local playgrounds. However, soon after its reopening, the park had to be closed in September 2023 due to children returning home with black stains from the newly installed soft tarmac flooring. The rapid deterioration of the surface raised immediate concerns, prompting the council to take swift action.

Community Outcry and Petition

A petition, which quickly garnered support from the community, highlights the frustration and disappointment felt by local families. The petition specifically called out Eibe Play for their refusal to cover the costs associated with fixing the defective surfacing. The council shares this frustration, emphasising that the unexpected financial burden should not be shouldered by local taxpayers.

Council’s Position and Actions

In a formal statement, Brighton and Hove City Council outlined the current situation and their ongoing efforts to resolve the issue. The council mentioned that they are actively working with the contractor to secure funding for the necessary repairs. The council also pointed out the significant investment in local playgrounds and the unacceptable nature of the problems that arose so soon after the refurbishment.

It was noted that the cost of repairs could be as high as £100,000, a substantial amount considering the original project budget. The council stressed that this additional cost, far exceeding the initial budget, should not be borne by the local taxpayers. They are seeking financial support from Eibe Play Ltd to cover the repair expenses.

Contractor’s Response and Ongoing Negotiations

Eibe Play Ltd, along with RTC Safety Surfacing, the provider and installer of the tarmac, have presented several options to the council. Discussions are ongoing, and the council remains optimistic that a mutually agreeable solution can be found. Despite the current issues, the council recognised Eibe Play as a valued partner, citing successful past projects.

Importance of Play Areas

The closure of Middle Park has significantly impacted the local community, particularly families and young people in Whitehawk. The park is the largest and most frequently used playground in the area, designed in collaboration with a community group and local residents. Its closure has been felt acutely, especially during a time when free, outdoor recreational spaces are in high demand amid the ongoing cost of living crisis.

The council stressed the vital role that parks and play areas play in the community, providing residents with free spaces to enjoy outdoor activities and spend quality time with friends and family. This importance is especially pronounced during the summer holidays when families seek local, cost-free outdoor activities.

Looking Ahead

As the council continues negotiations with Eibe Play Ltd, their primary goal remains to reopen Middle Park as quickly as possible. With the summer holidays approaching, there is a concerted effort to ensure the play area is available for local families to enjoy.

In conclusion, while the situation at Middle Park has been a setback, the council’s proactive approach in engaging with the contractor demonstrates a commitment to resolving the issue. The resolution of this matter will hopefully lead to a timely reopening of the play area, providing much-needed recreational space for the community. Future updates will likely provide more details on the agreed-upon repairs and the timeline for the park’s reopening.

Danielle Trigg
Danielle Trigg
Journalist Danielle is a skilled journalist specializing in regional coverage across the United Kingdom. With her wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge, Danielle dives into the stories that matter to local communities. Her meticulous research and engaging writing style captivate readers, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the dynamic business landscape. Danielle's commitment to delivering accurate and thought-provoking news sets her apart, making her an invaluable asset to the News Write Ups team.

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