Jan 20 2010 by Judith Tonner, Airdrie & Coatbridge
KYLE Smith’s grandmother has hit out at the lack of play facilities for disabled children in Monklands.
Ann Marie Smith told how the three-year-old was upset to find that he was unable to use play equipment at the reopening of a local park.
She said: “Last year we attended the opening of Centenary Park, which is really lovely – but Kyle started crying because he couldn’t go on the swings.
“It doesn’t cater for disabled children and I was so angry that he was upset because he couldn’t join in.
“Council officials who were there said that there’s a special swing park in Abronhill – but how does a single mum with a disabled child get herself and the buggy on a bus all the way to Cumbernauld?”
North Lanarkshire Council say that they try to cater for as many youngsters as possible and are interested in hearing the views of parents and carers.
They also revealed that a £160,000 upgrade of the play area at Drumpellier Country Park will get underway next month, installing new disabled and sensory equipment which will be ready by summer.
Sandra Mousdale, the council’s play services manager, said this week: “Newer play areas, like Centenary Park, include equipment like pod swings and inclusive roundabouts suitable for use by children with physical disabilities under adult supervision.
“However, that equipment may not be suitable for very young disabled children, just as some of the standard equipment is not suitable for very young able-bodied children.
“We have a limited budget, but we are always happy to receive ideas from parents and carers of disabled children and if it is possible to procure and include such equipment, we will do so.
“Next month we are starting work to upgrade the play area at Drumpellier country park; the existing play area was designed to be as accessible as possible and attracts visitors from a wide area to the facilities for children with physical disabilities.
“The upgraded play area will include facilities to appeal to children’s senses as well as providing physical play activities, and there will be new equipment designed for children with physical disabilities.”