We could swing for them over Leighton playground danger

Sandhills play area
Sandhills play area

The maintenance of children’s playgrounds on Leighton’s Sandhills estate has come under fire after a swing collapsed last Monday evening.

Councillors told children to get off the swing, just moments before it collapsed.

Councillor Ray Berry said “Once the girls were clear of the swing I gave the upright a shake with one hand and it quite literally fell apart in my hands.”

The play area in Cooper Drive is one of four on the estate, all of which are owned and maintained by Taylor Wimpey.

Councillor David Bowater attempted to contact the developers but was unable to speak to anyone.

He said: “It was hopeless trying to speak to Taylor Wimpey. This play area is owned by them and they are responsible for maintenance. In the end we were able to get a team from Leighton-Linslade Town Council to come and remove the swing and make the area safe.”

Sarah Ricketts, whose daughter plays in the play area, said: “This incident shows what disregard the developers have for the area and the public, will it take a serious accident before they take any action? It is disgusting that they have let it get this bad, they just do not care.”

Councillor Amanda Dodwell said: “I do not believe that the developers have been undertaking maintenance on the play areas. It takes considerable time for a piece of metal this size to fail and if they had been conducting proper safety checks this would have been spotted.

“An urgent inspection of all play areas on Sandhills must be undertaken without delay. It is the developers’ responsibility, but if we do not get a satisfactory response we will be asking the council to take action”.

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “We have been made aware that a piece of play equipment at the Cooper Drive play area was removed by council staff. We are currently liaising with the council to arrange to restore the swings and reopen the playground as quickly as possible for the benefit of local residents.

“We will carry out our usual regular safety inspection prior to it being re-opened.”