Play area for toddlers stays open despite safety worries
A TODDLERS' playground has been described as "dangerous", but it will remain open until work is carried out in three months' time.
Equipment at Jarvis Brook Recreation Ground is being held together by a single screw in places, it has been claimed.
Contractor Eibe Play was criticised by town councillors for the standard of workmanship and creating flooding problems.
The town's operations manager, Dave Foot, told a council meeting on Monday he had been complaining to Eibe after its workmen left Crowborough to work on projects elsewhere.
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He said: "Jarvis Brook Community Association thought there was a safety issue and were worried about more things falling down.
"They worried whether the canopy above the sandpit was at the height originally specified because it was open to vandalism or children climbing on top of it."
The £160,000 project off Burdett Road opened in December and boasts a sports games area and a popular skate park.
Town councillors' concerns were raised when one of the 7ft-tall posts at the sandpit fell over.
An earlier meeting heard the community association had claimed parts of the sports games area were also sloppily installed.
It was also told an independent report did not give Eibe's work a clean bill of health either, according to the community association which oversaw the project.
Inspectors reported the roundabout was too close to the ground, causing a "moderate hazard".
Beverley Johnstone told fellow councillors on Monday: "There was just one nail or screw holding together planks which children were standing on. It is dangerous. The contractors didn't commit to the project in the way we hoped they would. There weren't the man-hours put in."
The town's recreation committee chairman Ron Reed said: "Didn't they check the work when it was finished? They just walked off and left it. Now we have to wait until September to see if it's going to work."
Mother-of-two Rachael Naugh-ton, 35, was visiting from Edenbridge on Wednesday. She said: "This is the first time I've been here and there is a lot of mud."
Jimmy Nil, 41, from Aldervale Cottages in Crowborough, takes four-year-old son Derin there.
He said: "I hadn't heard it was dangerous but I think they really should come back and make it better. The worst thing is all the mud."
Deirdra Harris, chairman of the community association, said: "It's not as we'd like it but the problems are minor in the big scheme of things. We're happy with what Eibe has done but have asked them to come back in September or October, when the kids are back at school. We'd rather work was not going on in the summer holidays."
Despite repeated approaches, Eibe had not commented by the time the Courier went to press.