'Disappointment' over vandalism at refurbished play area in Biggleswade

Kitelands Recreation GroundKitelands Recreation Ground
Kitelands Recreation Ground
Kitelands is one of the play areas being improved in the town

A piece of new equipment has been vandalised at a Biggleswade play area, which is being upgraded.

The incident was described as “very disappointing” by town councillor Madeline Russell.

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Biggleswade Town Council is in the process of improving facilities and other features of many of the town’s play areas, with the Kitelands project financed by the Tritax Symmetry community grant.

Councillor Russell told a meeting of Central Bedfordshire Council’s Biggleswade joint committee: “We’re in the middle of a project to upgrade Kitelands recreation ground.

“It’s very disappointing because one of the pieces of new equipment was vandalised,” she said. “But we’ll carry on and get that put right.

“There’s Franklin recreation ground, which is well received by the public, and hopefully Kitelands will be as well. The renovation has been a long while in delivering. We’re nearly there now.”

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A report to the town council earlier this month explained how “the firm installing the equipment was asked to conduct a complete scan and digital mapping of the entire site, costing an extra indicative £700” to be drawn from the 2024/25 town council public realm budget.

“Officers were instructed by town councillors to brief Tritax Symmetry of the final location decision and any associated potential delays.

“The scanning work was completed for the entire area and the three potential locations were clear. The supplier returned to the site last month (March) and has been installing the play equipment in the originally agreed location.

“It’s anticipated the work will be completed by early May,” added the report. “A mayoral opening could be conducted in June, subject to the speed of installation.

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“Tritax Symmetry has been kept informed on progress and been invited to the site. Officers are sourcing appropriate signage to show the scheme has been delivered in collaboration between the town council and the company.”

BTC’s head of governance and strategic partnerships said at that meeting: “There was always enough space in that location to install five new pieces of play equipment for this project.

“There were potential problems with the sub-surface areas. All the locations were clear of anything dangerous and could be excavated, one manually. The aim is to finish the installation by the end of tomorrow (Aprril 30).”