The county councillors representing the Llannon ward on Carmarthenshire county council have called for the resintatement of play equipment at Maes Gwern play area in Tumble. The two Plaid councillors presented a petition to the council at its last meeting, signed by over 190 local residents.
Cllr Phil Williams said, “The play equipment was removed by the county council with no warning at all to the local community – council workmen simply came and removed it. This has been a major blow to the community, which established the play area itself in 1979 on the basis of a local initiative. The site, which had been a wasteland, was cleared and tidied by local children themselves who wanted an area to play. Apart from Mr Evan Bowen, who lives near the land, all the work was done by the children, mostly those from 11 to 13 years old. Following a campaign locally, the county council finally provided play equipment five years later in 1984.
“In fine summer weather, up to 60 children regularly used the site, and although there is another site behind Tumble School, that site is not suitable for older children – it caters really only for children under 7 years old. I have appealed to the county council to establish new equipment at the site to replace that removed, so that children can continue to play in a safe area.”
His fellow ward councillor, Emlyn Dole, added, “Not so long ago, the county council’s leaders told us that there was no need for the new legislation which Plaid AM Dai Lloyd is piloting through the Assembly to ensure consultation before loss of facilities, but the council’s actions here underline exactly why the new law is needed. It is clearly unacceptable that play area equipment can simply be dismantled and removed like this with no advance warning or consultation with local residents.”