Erecting a “large fenced barrier” around the children’s playground at Toft Park in Salthill, “with no explanation or notice for how long it will be closed” or what works are planned for it “is not good enough”.
This is the view of Labour city councillor Niall McNelis, who is calling on the Galway City Council’s parks department to begin whatever works are needed on the playground, “as soon as possible” so that the amenity can re-open “sooner rather than later”.
Cllr McNelis, who called the playground “a real gem” and “one of safest in city”, made his call after being approached “by a number of concerned parents”. This week he received a reply from the parks department, saying the play surface “requires replacement to ensure the safety of children using the facility” and that works will begin “before the end of this month”.
Explaining the delay in work starting on the playground, the parks department informed Cllr McNelis that a directive received late in 2015 requiring staff “not to undertake construction related activities” until “specific areas” of the Health and Welfare at Work Construction Regulations 2013 were addressed. Eventually a number of “pre-commencement conditions” were undertaken to the satisfaction of the Health and Safety Officer.
Cllr McNelis was informed that the parks department is “working through these conditions and plan for direct labour staff to begin undertaking works before the end of October 2016”. In response, the Labour Cllr said it is “very important these works are not delayed any longer and that when they finally are eventually started that they be completed as quickly as possible”.