A FRESH blow has been delivered to young people in a Blackburn community after a play area was condemned by council bosses.

An inspection by leisure officials has deemed the play equipment near Moss Street, Daisyfield, as a public health risk.

The decision to remove the (swings and slide) has been taken just week after the decision was taken to mothball the nearby Daisyfield Pools by the authority.

In a notice published on Friday, borough officials say concerned had been raised about the safety of the play equipment, on land between Daisyfield Primary and the Daisyfield base in Moss Street, by school leaders and the young people's service team.

Cllr Julie Gunn, the council's children and young people's cabinet member, said in a report: "Thee land and equipment is used by the school up to 3pm term time and by the community at all other times.

"Following a site inspection and numerous conversations between Daisyfield Primary School, YPS (the young people's service) and environments tteam - led by DCS Jo Siddle and director for education Michelle Holt, a decision has been taken on health and safety grounds to remove old play equipment from the site and leave the ground level and safe."

Council bosses say under the Play Pathfinder initiative, funding for play equipment and installation was provided by central government.

The Lancashire Telegraph has previously reported how the last Labour government unveiled the scheme in 2008 - it later led to new play equipment for several sites in Blackburn and Darwen.

But Cllr Gunn's report adds: "There was never any accompanying maintenance budget, and the council has had to continue to find funds, where possible, to repair and keep these areas in safe order, with the environment department having responsibility for the sites.

"Following a number of concerns raised by Daisyfield Primary School and Young Peoples Services

staff; a health and safety review was conducted on site by the environment department.

"The review included environment leads, YPS management and site supervisor and the headteacher and site supervisor from Daisyfield Primary School.

"Following a close inspection of the equipment/associated woodwork and a detailed discussion, a unanimous decision was taken to remove the old play equipment and leave the ground in as good condition as possible – to enable new play equipment to be installed, should a funding source be identified.

"The advice from the environments lead was that the equipment had simply exceeded its life cycle and poses a risk to public health in its current condition.

"Investigations into the availability of funding from existing budgets for the replacement of the play area equipment has not been successful and replacement (is) significant in comparison to removal costs."