A PLAYGROUND has been neglected and left in a state of disrepair, making it unsafe for children says a Barry mum.

Along with fellow parents in Highlight Park, Jessica Ferguson is so concerned about the safety of the playground next to the Community Centre that she seldom allows her children to play there.

Jessica, mother to Madelaine eight, Ruby six and Imogen four, said that residents have been waiting for years for the council to refurbish the park, which now largely acts as a night time meeting place for teenagers.

"It's in such a poor state of repair it's become very dangerous," she said. "I try not to use it often now as it really is bad. But my children nag to go there.

"I don't like taking my children up there, it doesn't feel safe to me.

"The steps on the slide are all rotten, everything is rusted, the roundabout doesn't go around. It's everything really.

"A lick of paint isn't going to make a difference, everything needs to be replaced."

The Vale of Glamorgan Council say the park is regularly inspected and the site is being maintained.

But mum Jessica says that in addition to the deteriorating equipment, the park also regularly becomes waterlogged due to the sunken areas of wood chipping which also leave many smaller children unable to climb on to the swings and see-saw.

Jessica, 34, from Sherbourne Close, added that nettles have been allowed to grow inside the park's boundaries where children could fall into them.

She says that the park is long overdue a make over.

"The park was supposed to have been upgraded when the Health Centre was built which was several years ago now," she said.

"The most that has been done to the park since then is a lick of paint and a few van loads of wood chippings.

"It's got to be one of the worst parks in Barry if not the worst."

Vale of Glamorgan council Operational Manager for Parks, Phil Beaman said in response that the park met all council standards and had been found fit for use by an independent inspector.

"The park and its play area are inspected on a monthly basis by trained Vale of Glamorgan Council officers," he said.

"This is in addition to the annual independent inspection that we arrange for all play areas in the Vale. Further to this we arranged for additional checks to the play area to be undertaken last month in response to an enquiry from one of our residents.

"We know that play facilities are greatly valued by our communities and this is why we work hard to maintain them. The playground in Highlight Park is litter-picked regularly during the working week by our staff, the play bark is topped up as and when necessary and council officers are currently in the process of cutting back overgrown vegetation.”