A MUM-OF-TWO is angry at what she claims has been a lack of community consultation after a children’s play area at a Musselburgh park was “ripped up” by diggers just before the school holiday.

Louise Scott, 35, said the play equipment at the Park Lane end of Lewisvale Park was removed over two days, leaving the site a “mud pile”.

She said: “This was a great play park for local children to play near to their home and children from the Pinkie area use it.”

She added that a set of steps leading to the local cricket pitch had also been taken away.

Mrs Scott, of Park Lane, said that she contacted Councillor Andy Forrest, who informed her that the play equipment had come to the end of its safe operational life and had to be removed.

“However, there was absolutely no notice that this was to happen – it was a total surprise,” she said.

She added: “He also refers to anti-social behaviour there.

As one of the closest residents to the play park I have to disagree.

“I am aware that there was an element of this behaviour in the past; however, I am not aware of any incidences relating specifically to the play park while I have lived here, which is over seven years.

“People walk through the park at night and older children sit in the bushes. There is nothing I have had to report to the police.”

Mrs Scott said that Lewisvale Park’s other play area, recently upgraded by Musselburgh Area Partnership after public consultation, was for pre-school children.

She said that the Park Lane end play park, which had been there for between 15 and 20 years, was more for older children with a 10-foot slide and roundabout.

She agreed that the play equipment had to be removed if it was out-of-date and dangerous, saying: “Of course children’s safety has to come first.

“If it’s not going to be used as a play park, perhaps the council could make better use of that space. It is a mud pile at the moment.”

Mr Forrest said: “For me, we were not providing a good play facility and the area was wet. Looking at it from a health and safety point of view, you have got to look after children when they are playing and make sure they are safe.

“I will be looking at areas of funding so we can replace it with a good play facility to help children develop and learn dexterity. I intend to speak to the pupil councils at Musselburgh Grammar School and local primary schools to see what young people want in the area – something that will complement and bring people into the park, which is underused.”

He stressed that a “fantastic play area” was provided at the Wimpey estate in Musselburgh after working with young people.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: “This particular part of the park had play equipment dating back to the early 1990s and required removal on safety grounds. In fact, not much equipment was actually left and some pieces had already been removed in recent years.

“The area partnership was consulted about these works and they are looking to secure funding to replace equipment in due course. In recent years Lewisvale Park has enjoyed a number of improvements, including a new toddler area play park.”