Petition calls on council to reinstate play equipment
A Umina grandmother has started a petition for reinstatement of play equipment in the Brisbane Ave and Paul St playgrounds.
Ms Margaret Myles of Umina has also called on Central Coast Council to "stick by" its adopted Playground Strategy.
"On Monday, February 19, Council sent letters to residents within a 400m radius of our local park at Brisbane Ave, Umina, advising that removal of playground equipment would begin on the same day," Ms Margaret Myles said.
"Both sets of swings were removed on February 19, before the community had any chance to object to the removal of the playground equipment," she said.
Ms Myles decided to start a petition on change.org and, by March 6, 230 people had signed it.
"This park was once a fabulous local park that my now-grown children loved playing in, with swings, slides and a whirly ball.
"This park has been neglected to the point that prior to February 19, two old swing sets were all that was left.
"Despite this, my grandson loved to play at this park.
"This is the latest travesty of a Council that clearly places no importance on local recreation facilities for ratepayers.
"The Woy Woy Peninsula is already underprovided with local playground facilities.
"Why remove more?
"Paul St is another playground that comes to mind that was much needed by the residents in the vicinity.
"Now this area has no local parks within Central Coast Council, it is not good enough to advise the community that we can travel 2km to the Umina Recreation Precinct if we want to visit a park.
"Some residents do not have vehicles, and travelling on foot or by bicycle is difficult with children, because the state of our roads is so poor, and we lack access to bike paths.
"Council should provide a playground network that encourages more active lifestyles by offering well distributed and accessible recreation facilities.
"It is not good enough to not allow the community to have their say in the removal of these items.
"It is not good enough to claim that the removal was due to safety issues.
"If Council was genuinely concerned about safety in this park, it would have acted on the numerous complaints about tree branches overhanging the swings where children play.
"This was the only safety concern within this park.
"The swingsets were in good condition.
"It is not good enough to prepare a Playground Strategy and not stick by it.
"Bring back the playground at Brisbane Ave, bring back the playground at Paul St and prioritise community-building over profits," she said.
Website, 6 Mar 2017
Margaret Myles, Umina