PARK bosses have admitted that thousands of pounds are to be invested in the town's play areas as many are in a 'poor' condition.

Woodley Borough Council ran an assessment of items in four children's play parks in the Woodley area.

They assessed the items on their condition, their 'play value' and their 'inclusivity/accessibility'.

Following this assessment in December, the council found 22 out of a possible 45 items in Wheble park, Memorial Ground park, Malone park and Woodford park were found to be less than satisfactory in one of these measurements.

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This investigation has prompted plans to remove two items due to concerns for their condition, and two items to 'consider replacing'.

Following this, £200,000 has been agreed to be spent on a brand-new park at the Memorial Ground site, with its design priority on accessibility and inclusivity for all users.

An additional total of £60,000 is described by the council as being 'potential investment required' to both the Woodford and Malone park sites.

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Of the 22 'poor' results for items in these play parks, 20 were due to a lack of inclusivity/accessibility - the council describes the reasoning for this as being "due to the nature of the activity for which they were designed e.g. climbing net.

It said in one council document: "Accessibility can also be affected by their location within the play area e.g. where access is across loose fill bark or a sloped area."

The vast majority of the park equipment, benches and waste bins were found to be 'good' or 'satisfactory' for condition and play value, where it applies.

The assessment also detailed how some of the equipment on these sites is over 30 years old, and despite being maintained in good condition throughout this time, they are unlikely to be accessible to wheelchair users and children with a range of needs.