Campaigners have received a boost in their battle to save a beloved wheelchair accessible playground in east Reading.

Reading Borough Council (RBC) has previously said the East Reading Adventure Playground (ERAPA play equipment will not be replaced when it comes to the end of its life.

The council wants to focus its investment on the Wokingham Road side play area at Palmer Park and provide facilities for children of all abilities there.

There had been fears the play area would close within the next two years.

However, the council’s new lead member for recreation said ‘no door is closed’ and most of the ERAPA equipment currently has no safety concerns.

The Palmer Park facility is currently the only play area with accessible facilities in the borough.

Councillor Karen Rowland, lead member for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: “We probably took a few missteps in how that got out to the public.

“We need to more carefully and strategically look at access to playgrounds across Reading.

“There are three major units in ERAPA. One has just had expensive new ball bearings put in. One unit is older. There are no parts available for it.

“There are no immediate plans to close it. It is not that dire of a situation.

“If that playground is so integral, let’s work with it. No door is closed. I am still meeting with activists.”

Cllr Rowland was, however, critical of some campaigners.

The new lead for recreation said people that hang up signs ‘zap the energy’ out of ‘getting the work done’.

Cllr Rowland called for ‘positive placemaking’, which means people that are going to use, live and work near a site are at the heart of the development.

She said that people should not doubt that the Labour group are going to ensure disabled access in play areas.

Cllr Ellie Emberson, the new lead for Corporate and Consumer Services, added: “Some of those protestors are not engaging in the process.

“They have the right to protest but it has to be in a proper manner that is constructive.”

Cllr Emberson highlighted £55,000 in Community Infrastructure Levy funds that is going into Coley Park as evidence of the council’s commitment to disabled access in parks.

She said: “All consultation designs include accessible equipment. It is a massive part of the process.”

A petition set up by Green councillor Josh Williams to save ERAPA received over 1,200 supporters but was rejected at a meeting of the Full Council in March.