A LEISURE boss has come under fire from Aireborough people over playgrounds in need of new equipment.

Principal Leeds Leisure Services area manger for parks and countryside, Sean Flesher, faced criticism over parks in Yeadon, Rawdon and Guiseley when he gave a talk to Aireborough Community Inv-lvement Team.

Leeds Leisure Services removed play equipment from playgrounds in the area last year, as they did not comply with new European safety regulations.

But the apparatus has not been replaced at a number of parks in Aireborough, and members of Aireborough CIT last week said there are few up-to-date facilities for younger children in the area.

Chairman of Guiseley and Menston Green Belt Action Group (GAMGBAG), Kath Firm, claimed play equipment in Nethermoor Park, Guiseley, 'came to the end of it's useful life' 15 years ago.

Some members at last Thursday's meeting asked why Leeds Leisure Services is considering layout out a new play area next to Aireborough Leisure Centre, when existing playgrounds could be improved.

Mr Flesher explained how the new regulations had meant some play equipment had been taken away, and said Leisure Services had looked at the costs of re-equipping all play areas in Leeds.

He said: "When you look at all the playgrounds in the area, the sum came to over £3million."

Mr Flesher said a satisfaction survey in the Leeds area had shown that 81 per cent of residents were pleased with parks, open spaces and play areas. He spoke about planned facilities in the area, and the success of resident-led revamps, as in Kirk Lane Park, Yeadon.

He said Leisure Services is working on a 'play strategy' to improve playgrounds.

The Wharfedale Observer's Play It Safe campaign has, over the past 18 months, highlighted the dangers of play equipment which does not have soft surfacing underneath.

Our campaign has had the backing of television journalist and presenter Esther Rantzen and national playground campaigner Ian Burks, of Cookridge.