‘Join together for play area’

RENOVATION of a Brighouse play area could be undertaken if enough residents rally round to support it.

Drastic action needs to be taken to improve the area just off Bradford Road near to McDonalds which consists of a set of swings, a slide and a bike ramp, which needs to be removed due to safety reasons.

The area has been blighted by vandalism and anti-social behaviour for years but now residents at Whinney Hill Park, Brighouse, want the surrounding areas to join forces and work on a plan to improve the isolated park.

“We want something similar to what they have at Finkil Street,” said Les Riach, chairman of Whinney Hill Residents’ Association. “This play area could be used by residents from Whinney Hill, Smith House, Summerfield Avenue and Bradford Road.

“But at the moment no one wants to come here because of the problems with the nuisance bikes and anti-social behaviour.”

Calderdale Council has drawn a priority list of parks throughout the borough which will benefit from a sum of money but the area in question does not come anywhere near the top ten.

The council’s playground manager, Mick Wilby, said the money would only cover the sites on the list. “Any others need to be driven by the community. Working with the community we know that they have the ability to access those monies outside the council which we can’t,” he said.

Councillor Scott Benton (Con, Brighouse) said the community in that area particularly was very active. “With the area being in between two wards, Brighouse and Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, we should be able to get quite a large number of people involved,” he said.

“I know one of the main problems we have had is anti-social behaviour and the bikes but even the slightest improvement which would make it more child friendly would send out a clear signal to the community and give the area a perspective that it is for children.”

Mr Wilby put a number of suggestions to the residents about the improvements including moving the park closer to Bradford Road so it could be seen from the roadside, which would both encourage people to use it but also make it less isolated so it wouldn’t be targeted by vandalism.