North Street Playground, Ventnor.

Ventnor’s Mayor is calling for the reinstatement of play equipment in North Street and he wants reassurance that the land will not be built on.

As Isle of Wight Radio previously reported, the Isle of Wight Council stripped out some items from the playground because it said they were unsafe. The local authority says it will not be replacing the swings.

Stuart Blackmore says he wasn’t told in advance and said,

“The residents of Ventnor and, in particular, those in Longdown with children, are rightly appalled at the Isle of Wight Council’s seemingly unilateral decision to close parts of the long-established North Street playground without any attempt at public consultation; failing, even, to do the local residents the courtesy of informing their local Ward Councillors or Members of Ventnor Town Council.

“As a local councillor for Ventnor East, I, especially as Mayor, would have expected to be told in advance about this decision. The fact that the IWC council has deemed the equipment defective and/or dangerous is not sufficient reason to not inform my residents that this action was imminent.

“I, therefore, call on the IWC to reinstate the equipment to the benefit of our children and, further, to give us an absolute assurance that this land will net be set aside for redevelopment, as was the case several years ago.”

*Updated 11.05am

The Isle of Wight Council has quashed claims that the site will be redeveloped.

Isle of Wight Council leader councillor Dave Stewart told Isle of Wight Radio that it will remain as a playground:

“The play area at North Street is a valuable facility and we know how important it is for local children.

“The Isle of Wight Council plans to attend the upcoming public meeting in Ventnor to discuss the future of the site, and I can confirm we’re keen to work with Ventnor Town Council and other interested parties to find a way forward that ensures a sustainable future for the play area.”