Action urged on park revamp

Mayor Billy Ashe is presented with letters from residents of Kells & Connor calling for improved play park facilities in the villages. (Submitted Picture)
Mayor Billy Ashe is presented with letters from residents of Kells & Connor calling for improved play park facilities in the villages. (Submitted Picture)

Local Councillor William McCaughey has called on Council’s CEO to progress an appeal by villagers for improvements to their play park.

His call came at the September meeting of Council, last Monday night, just days after more than 70 letters from Kells and Connor residents calling for improved play facilities in ‘the twin villages’ were hand delivered to the Mayor of Mid & East Antrim, Councillor Billy Ashe.

The Mayor had travelled to ‘the twin villages’ to meet with Councillor William McCaughey and DUP Assemblyman Paul Frew for the second time to discuss a play park strategy for the borough.

Speaking last week at the September monthly meeting of the local authority, Councillor McCaughey said: “This petition was very well received in the community and an awful lot are still signing.

“Money has been spent on the community centre to bring it up to standard and the same needs to be done with the play park.

“I would urge the Chief Executive to push this forward as hard as she can,” he said.

Council CEO Anne Donaghy said that while the various play park facilities in Kells and Connor are “all safe and checked regularly” she accepted that the range of equipment was “very limited”.

Councillor Brian Collins added: “This petition shows the community are getting behind each other.

“As the Chief Executive says, Kells and Connor play areas are lacking in equipment so we welcome this petition.”

Councillors agreed back in May to develop a Play Strategy “which would take account of existing play facilities, inform future development and animate play areas to create more dynamic play opportunities”.

Mrs Donaghy informed councillors at that meeting that only one of the predecessor council areas, Carrick, already had a play park strategy in place.

She said that the Carrickfergus strategy, which was being delivered and on target, could provide a framework for the new borough-wide plan which would involve a wider remit, taking in formal play parks, informal open spaces for free unstructured open play, skateboard parks etc.