PARENTS have been left frustrated after the reopening of the newly-refurbished play area in one of Basingstoke’s busiest parks has been delayed by more than three months.

Work began on the £495,000 revamp scheme in War Memorial Park in March 2021, with the project due to be finished in April.

However, with the summer holidays now in full swing, the children’s play area remains closed, to the annoyance of many families.

One parent said that she was “frustrated” by the lack of an opening date, while the leader of the Labour group described the delay as “very disappointing”. 

The Gazette asked the council why the scheme had taken longer than planned, and when residents could expect the areas to open.

Cllr Mark Ruffell, cabinet member for environment, said “snagging issues” were to blame for the delay and said the area would open once final checks had been made. 

Cllr Andy McCormick, leader of the opposition, said “explanation is needed” for the failure to deliver on time.

“It’s very disappointing that it’s not ready in time for the school holidays,” the Brighton Hill Labour councillor said.

You can read the full story in this week’s edition of The Gazette. Also in this week's paper:

  • Garden waste collections in Basingstoke and Deane have been suspended this week after several members of staff were forced to self-isolate.
  • A binman has claimed he was sacked after raising safety concerns to Serco as garden waste collections were suspended again this week due to staff shortages. 
  • The Basingstoke branch of Women’s Equality Party (WE) is urging the government to ensure the safety of women travellers as a town hotel is being converted into a quarantine facility for people coming to the UK from red list countries.
  • A jealous Popley teenager who showed no remorse after stabbing his friend in the face in a “vicious and cowardly” attack has been named for the first time after reporting restrictions were lifted. 
  • There is anger after the two biggest sporting scandals in Basingstoke did not appear on the agenda of an important council committee this week.
  • Supporters of the ‘Save the Camrose’ campaign gathered in protest outside the historic ground on Saturday, calling on Basingstoke council to act now to ensure the site’s future as home of the town’s football club.
  • A Basingstoke charity shop has been forced to close because of falling footfall and anti-social behaviour at the Top of Town.
  • More than 400 Basingstoke residents have signed a petition calling on the council to reverse increased parking permit charges in residential areas.
  • PLUS: All the latest from Basingstoke Magistrates' Court.
  • Two pages of your letters to the editor.
  • Pictures: Prom night finally arrived for Basingstoke schools.
  • EXCLUSIVE: Gazette investigates Covid in basingstoke care homes.
  • The latest news from our communities.
  • An four-page puzzle special.
  • Business news.
  • Two pages of entertainment news.
  • Parkrun returns! Picture spread.
  • Camera Club's monthly theme round-up.
  • Four pages of sports news. And much more!

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