Play area revamp gets the go-ahead

FRIDAY FEBRUARY 9 - VANDALS will not win; that is the message from Banbury Town Council as it decides to embark on a £90,000 refurbishment programme at Spiceball Play Area.

It is one of the most popular play areas in Banbury but has long been plagued by vandals.

Earlier this year the Banbury Guardian reported how the council threatened to pull plans for the refurbishment, fearing it would be wasted money if crime there continued.

But Banbury Town Council's general services committee agreed to press ahead with the scheme at its meeting on Wednesday.

Speaking afterwards, chairman Cllr Nick Turner (Con, Hardwick), said: "There are a lot of people who use the park and get a lot of enjoyment out of it.So why should we pander to a few mindless idiots who are in the minority?"

Deliberate damage in the past has included arson, graffiti and the tearing down of expensive wooden panels.

But Mr Turner said the council has spoken to Banbury police, who have agreed to step up patrols in the area and help protect it better in future.

Five different designs are now on display in the foyer of the Town Hall, Bridge Street, and the council is asking the public which design it likes best.

"They are all very adventurous and we would like as many people as possible to go and have a look and give us their view before we choose," Mr Turner said.

An order for the new design will be placed in March, with the play area completed in time for the school summer holidays.