Improving the quality of local play facilities in Leith has long been high on local residents agenda for neighbourhood improvements. Recently the council produced a draft play strategy that sheds some light on where and how the council proposes to spend money on improving play facilities in the city over the next five years. Sadly, the Leith Neighbourhood Partnership area doesn’t seem to come out that well in the plan, as you can see by this analysis we did of the proposed spending plans by council ward.
There are huge disparities in the amount of money allocated to different areas of the city. The lucky residents of Forth Ward are the winners. Council officials propose to spend more than a quarter of million pounds on renewed play facilities in the Forth Ward, whilst no money at all, other than on maintenance, will be spent in some other wards.
In the Leith Walk ward, the only proposed capital spend is for the removal of the smaller play park in Pilrig Park.
In the Leith Ward, the only confirmed spend in the plans is for a £45,000 upgrade of the play facilities on Admiralty Street, which is programmed to go ahead before March 2012.
The plan proposes an interesting approach to Leith Links. Rather than allocate any cash towards the park, the plan says: “Develop play facilities as part of Leith Links masterplan, possibly including a skate facility. To be funded separately.” A date of 2014 is penciled in for this.
Meanwhile, at a recent Leith Links steering group meeting attended by Greener Leith volunteers parks development officers suggested that the skate park proposal was unlikely to go ahead, and that there was no commitment to any funding plans beyond the next financial year. Confused? We are.
According to the council report the Play Strategy, covering, er spending plans until 2015, will be out for consultation in the Autumn. With a local election coming up in the Spring, there may yet be an opportunity for Leithers to influence these plans for the better.
You can read the whole council report that includes the draft play strategy here.