Formby's Labour Councillor Catie Page and Labour Action Team leader Peter Maguire have slammed the town's Conservative Councillors who jeopardised the much-needed refurbishment of a town park and very nearly allowed thousands of pounds to slip out of Formby.
Cllr Page and Peter Maguire both attended last week's area committee in which three of the town's Tory councillors, Denise Dutton, David McIvor and Barry Griffiths, all voted against plans to refurbish Barkfield Lane playground - despite assurances from council officers that the funding would almost certainly be spent elsewhere of the project was not agreed.
Cllr Page, who voted in favour of refurbishing the Barkfield Lane park, said the work was long overdue.
Cllr Page said: "Lots of time and effort went in to looking into what both users and residents wanted for the park. Then in collaboration with officers of the council and the councillors of Formby a plan had been devised and funding found to add to and make the most of £5,000 which had become available from the 106 fund (a developer's premium).
"It was agreed that the redesign of the playground would breathe new life into an otherwise tired children's facility, which is the only one in the area. This work will be an asset to this community and will be an active area where children can play in safety.
"So I was shocked and disappointed that Conservative councillors Griffiths, McIvor and Dutton voted to oppose the redevelopment of Barkfield Playground, despite being informed by council officers that the money could be spent elsewhere in Sefton if the scheme was not approved.
"Over the time there has been a mantra from many of our Conservative councillors in Formby that funding 'should be used for a different project'. Yet, there has at no time been any inkling of even an idea of an alternative way to spend the 106 fund money from them.
"Cllr Dutton's objection and voting against the spending of £1,000 of Harington's fund to help the project will result in cost cutting on the children's playground and will reduce the development, which is a great shame. However, the Barkfield Plaground is going ahead, despite the best efforts of the Conservatives on Formby Area Committee."
Formby Labour Action Team's Peter Maguire said he was disappointed by the three Tories' failure to back the Formby scheme.
Peter said: "It’s disappointing to see the Conservatives in Formby vote against these plans. The funding was earmarked to improve a park that was in desperate need of refurbishment.
"I think it was only fair that this area of Formby have a high quality children’s play area seeing as the parks in Duke Street and Alt Road have been renovated in recent years.
"But the worst part about this was that if these plans had been rejected the majority of the funding would not have been put back into the Formby Area Committee fund, it would more than likely be spent in another area of Sefton. Which would have been a loss of much needed funding right here."