Plea for vital funding for Angus playparks

Councillor Ross Greig is pictured at the Glenogil Terrace playpark in Forfar.Councillor Ross Greig is pictured at the Glenogil Terrace playpark in Forfar.
Councillor Ross Greig is pictured at the Glenogil Terrace playpark in Forfar.
Angus is still waiting for vital funding which could restore playparks which have lain empty for a decade, a Forfar councillor has claimed.

Ross Greig says parks in the town and in many other parts of the county require urgent investment, stemming back to an SNP-run council decision to defund half of them in 2012.

This was later revised to one quarter in 2013 following a public backlash.

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Mr Greig believes that £100,000 budgeted by the previous Conservative-led council administration will start the ball rolling on a destination park for Forfar, in line with Montrose Seafront Splash or Carnoustie’s Sandy Sensation.

But he emphasised that this must be joined by a £60 million fund announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last year.Scottish Conservative Mr Greig said that “not a penny” of that money has left Edinburgh so far and it is vital to rejuvenate the Angus play estate for the benefit of families post-pandemic.

He said: “The 2012 decision was a massive source of shame for Angus and it reflected how much public services have been slashed under the SNP.

“It was really down to local campaigners and parents that many of the swing parks are still around, and there is a lot of volunteering that keeps others open.

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“We’re now almost a decade on from that wrong-headed decision to defund. I want our children to be able to come out and play with their families, especially after the last two years we have had with Covid.

Mr Greig was backed by Tess White, Scottish Conservative shadow minister for public health, women's health and sport.

The North East region MSP said: "The last time the SNP got into power in Angus, they closed a quarter of its playparks.

"This was the direct result of massive local government underfunding from Nicola Sturgeon’s government, which cut Angus' budget by £43m last year alone.

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"Encouraging active outside play is so important, given the health concerns arising since the start of the pandemic. Even £1.3m of the fund promised last year — 2.2% by population share — would massively revive the entire estate across Angus. It's time for the SNP at Holyrood to stump up."

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