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Outcry at state of town’s play parks

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By Fiona Reid
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Outcry at state of town’s play parks

FILTHY, rusty, overgrown, inadequate, dangerous and boring ... just some of the names used to describe Lockerbie’s failing play parks.

And now community councillors are calling for action on Lockerbie’s “miserable and uninviting” play parks. Publican Ian McLatchie is a community councillor and chairman of Lockerbie Gala.

He will preside over the official Gala Queen crowning ceremony in McJerrow Park this Saturday, but has labelled the central park- with its its rusty railings, peeling paintwork and unengaging play equipment — “a total embarrassment”.

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CLEAN UP . . .  Ian McLatchie wants to see action

Mr McLathchie said: “The parks in this town are shockingly bad. They’re awful both to look at and for kids to play in.

“As chairman of Lockerbie Gala, I desperately hoped that at the very least McJerrows could be brought back up to standard before our Crowning and Turn Up on Gala Day, but the only chance of that happening is for the committee to buy some paint and brushes and do it ourselves. Once we start doing that, where and when will it end?”

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RUST . . . rusty McJerrow Park does not impress Ian McLatchie and councillor Stephen Thompson

A Dumfries and Galloway spokesman has advised that upgrades, such as painting the railings, will happen in the ‘near future’, but was unable to give a set date.

Meanwhile, other parks were given an unfavourable mention at the recent meeting of Lockerbie Community Council.

Fears were expressed that King Edward Park looks run down, overgrown with weeds and houses unsafe equipment, whilst there were complaints that the slide at Rosebank/Park Place park was removed with no replacement.

New Annandale North councillor Adam Wilson was horrified to find glass at the park when he visited last week.

He said: “Residents have rightly raised the poor conditions that many of our parks are in. “As we approach much better weather it is disappointing that broken glass, weeds and the removal of park furniture means that many kids won’t use the parks or simply won’t be allowed to.”

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WEEDS . . . weedy King Edwards Park 

He added: “Greater care and attention must be given to our parks and I will press this to the council. “We must see more equipment in Park Place-when an item is removed it should be replaced, we must see weeds removed from King Eddies and a spruce up of all the parks.

“Residents have made it clear they are unhappy and I’m positive this position will be made clear in the Community Action Plan.” Meanwhile, Dumfries and Galloway Council confirmed that the slide at Rosebank/Park Place had to be removed as it was unsafe and there are no immediate plans to replace it.

A spokesman added: “There have been no reports received to advise that glass is present at the park. If such reports are received we would allocate staff as soon as possible to clear up the debris.

“We are very fortunate that we have a good relationships with communities across the region, and members of the public sometimes clear away glass upon finding it in parks and public areas. We often attend after a report and find that the material has already been removed.”

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