Pothole repairs for playground

Pupil Aidan Duffy,  Valerie Duhig and Jason Rust
Pupil Aidan Duffy, Valerie Duhig and Jason Rust
Have your say

A VANDAL-hit school is to have its “disgraceful” potholed playground repaired following years of campaigning and injuries to pupils.

The ground at St Mark’s RC Primary, in Oxgangs, will be fixed during the February break – to the relief of parents and children.

“I feel like I’m on edge constantly because my child is going to school and could get hurt. Your heart’s in your mouth all day,” said Valerie Duhig, chairwoman of the school’s parent council.

A number of accidents caused by pupils tripping on the uneven surface have been reported over the years, while a grandmother collecting a child from the nursery school is also understood to have fallen.

The state of the playground has been put down to neglect, combined with harsh winters and tree roots coming up through the concrete.

The school has suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage in recent years after becoming a target for vandals, who destroyed playground equipment and left the headteacher fearing it was only a matter of time before the whole school was burned to the ground.

The condition of the playground itself took a back seat as money was raised to pay for the damage caused by the vandals.

Ms Duhig is hoping the £15,000 which has now been pledged by the council to carry out repairs will be enough to rectify the problem and prevent further accidents.

The mum has a son in the nursery and two children in the school, including her youngest daughter, Darcy, who has an artificial leg. She said: “The playground is disgraceful. There are an awful lot of uneven surfaces and potholes.

“We’re hoping this money will make it safe but we’re also hoping it’s not just going to be a patch-up job.

“For a long time, the council has been saying there’s no money to do this work so hopefully this work is better than no work at all.”

Tory councillor Jason Rust, who represents the Colinton and Fairmilehead ward, has been helping parents with their campaign to get money to improve the playground.

He said: “A number of parents had been in touch to report accidents and potential trip hazards and it is good to know that our lobbying has been listened to and action will now be taken.

“While this will not be sufficient funds for full resurfacing, it will at least remove the worst of the problems.”

City education leader Councillor Marilyne MacLaren said: “These repairs will see a substantial improvement for the pupils to have the use of a safe outside area.”