PARENTS whose children have been locked out of a play park for weeks while the equipment awaits repair are being promised it will be open again before the Christmas holidays, after the youngsters missed their fun over half term.

St John’s Park on White Horse Road which is owned by Wiltshire Council has been closed for weeks with no indication when it will re-open.

The gates to the park have been padlocked on both both sides, and now people are beginning to ask if it will ever be opened again.

Local mum Rebecca Marnane, 40, lives near the park, often used to take her two children, aged two and four, there to play and enjoy running around

She said: “It’s been locked now for about six weeks, I believe it has been since the middle of September. It’s extremely well used. I live around the corner and we used it a lot, sometimes a few times a week.

“It’s a really nice little park as you don’t tend to get the bigger children there as they go to a different park. They haven’t said why it’s been shut - initially I think there was a sign up saying it was closing for maintenance but that may have fallen off or been removed.

“It’s a huge shame that its been shut for so long. We meet friends there so it’s the central point of the estate. We watch our children playing so it’s very sociable. For grandparents I have noticed that they are missing it as well as it’s somewhere to take grandkids.

“Also children have been climbing over the fence to use it which is a problem.

“It would have been good if they had put something through people’s letterboxes telling us what they were planning and when as it’s really the not knowing that’s the issue.”

The issue was raised at Monday’s town council meeting by Wiltshire Cllr Stewart Dobson, who revealed the closure was down to safety in a bid to prevent an accident happening.

Cllr Dobson said: “Some of the posts in the park are rotting away and some are missing so aren’t reliable and considered dangerous to be used. So it had to be closed for health and safety reasons.

“There has been confirmation from the officer at the County Hall that materials required to carry out the repairs to the play area are scheduled to arrive this week. Therefore the contractor will begin work the week commencing November 11.

“Although it was disappointing that the play area has been closed and out of action for some time, especially during the children’s half term break, it is important that the council give issues regarding health and safety of the play area the utmost priority.

“We’re sorry it had to be closed over half term. But the parts are on order so they will be here soon.”

A spokesman from Wiltshire Council said: “The play area was closed on the grounds of safety following an inspection. The repairs will be carried out and should all the materials arrive, they will get underway.”