In a spin once again at Sunderland playpark

Councillors Robert Oliver (left) and Alan Wright in Middle Herrington Play park, Sunderland, with the piece of play equipment that was removed and adjusted after a child fell from a similar one.
Councillors Robert Oliver (left) and Alan Wright in Middle Herrington Play park, Sunderland, with the piece of play equipment that was removed and adjusted after a child fell from a similar one.
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A POPULAR play item has been returned to a Wearside park – almost two years after it was taken away over safety fears.

The spinning whirl piece of play equipment was taken out of Middle Herrington Park after a child broke her arm by falling from a similar structure in Houghton.

Conservative councillors in the area campaigned to get it put back in place after youngsters and their parents expressed disappointment in the decision.

Coun Robert Oliver, Conservative leader on Sunderland Council, said: “For a long time we appealed for the council to put it back in.

“We felt that it spun at a safe pace for the children to use.”  Coun Oliver added that most people expect that children will get hurt from time to time when playing.

“I think, really, kids are always going to have accidents in play areas,” he said.

“But as long as the play areas themselves are safe, then that’s OK.

“It’s a very good piece of play area we have and although the council must always look at health and safety they must not go over the top.

“There are a lot of young children in the Herrington area who use the park and the kids from East Herrington Primary School as well, so it’s a very popular place to play.”

Coun James Blackburn, portfolio holder for attractive and inclusive city, explained why the reintroduction of the play item had taken so long.

Coun Blackburn said: “The spinning whirl play equipment was removed approximately two years ago following an accident on a similar piece of equipment in Rectory Park, in Houghton.

“The delay in reinstating both pieces of equipment has been due to a full investigation by the Health and Safety Executive and the council’s own full, thorough investigation.

“We also required from the contractor that designed and installed the equipment an additional part to minimise risks even further.”

He added: “We can confirm that the play equipment has been modified and reinstalled in both parks.

“We hope children will be able to enjoy playing on them safely for many years to come.”

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