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Park ‘neglect’ angers MSP

A LACK of maintenance at Dock Park has infuriated MSP Colin Smyth, who has accused Dumfries and Galloway Council of “utter neglect” of the popular play area.

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West
Park ‘neglect’ angers MSP
NEGLECTED . . . South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is annoyed with the lack of maintenance at Dock Park

The South Scotland MSP says a lack of basic maintenance by the council is leaving the park “falling apart”, with play equipment and the bandstand currently out of use – just weeks before the school summer holidays.

The bandstand has been left unpainted for years and is now fenced off for safety reasons with parts of the flooring broken.

In the children’s playpark, the ship has been fenced off for months due to rotten boards, the broken seesaw has been removed, the disabled roundabout is now fenced off as it no longer turns, gates to the park are closed off with barriers around them and parts of the rubber flooring in the park is crumbling, while the maze, which dates back to the 1970s, is overgrown with weeds.

During his time as a councillor, Mr Smyth successfully fought for the £2 million major refurbishment of the park. He chaired the council’s economy, environment and infrastructure committee during the revamp and carried out the official re-opening of the park with the Earl and Countess of Wessex in 2014.

But now as the park falls as back into disrepair, the Labour MSP is calling for action from the local authority and said: “Just weeks before the school holidays and the summer tourism season, it is shocking to see the utter neglect of the Dock Park by the council.

“I successfully fought for the £2 million refurbishment of what was an award-winning park. We transformed it into a real jewel in the crown for Dumfries and it is something I am very proud of. The council should hang their head in shame over the state of the park today.

“It really breaks my heart to see the way it has been left to fall apart. The council needs to carry out the repairs urgently and put in place a proper maintenance regime, which is what they promised funders like the Heritage Lottery fund when they secured grants from them a decade ago.

“If they fail to do so it will only be a matter of time before the park falls into a complete state of disrepair and we are back having to fight for another revamp and that’s totally unacceptable.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council were contacted for comment.

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