Village outdoor gym has barely a scratch - eight years after it was installed

Villagers told West Lothian Council they wanted outdoor gym equipment when £15,000 was set aside for improvements to their park.
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However, Councillor Stuart Borrowman questioned the value of the public consultation when he told a meeting the equipment – installed in Torphichen in 2015 – was in pristine condition. Villagers don’t use it.

“There’s not a scrape on the paintwork,” he said.

At a recent meeting of the Blackridge and Armadale Local Area Committee, Simon Scott, the council’s open spaces officer, detailed a public consultation on improvements to anther park in the ward, Avondale Park in Armadale. The public will be given a vote on what they want in the park.

The outdoor gym in Torphichen which Cllr Borrowman said has barely a mark on it.The outdoor gym in Torphichen which Cllr Borrowman said has barely a mark on it.
The outdoor gym in Torphichen which Cllr Borrowman said has barely a mark on it.
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Councillor Borrowman said: “In Torphichen there was a big public consultation a few years back on how to spend some money in the park and everybody voted for an outdoor adult gym.

“Now it’s pure as the driven snow. Nobody’s ever used it. There’s not a scrape on the paintwork.

“The view of professionals, I subsequently realised, was that it would be far better to spend the money on something unsexy, like drainage.”

Mr Scott told the meeting: “I would reserve the right to not do something and outdoor gyms are a good example. In my experience they’re just not used. We don’t have the climate for it.”

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A council spokesman said the project funding model for open spaces had since changed.

He said: “We carried out a public consultation over Torphichen Park in 2015, with both outdoor gym equipment and improved drainage among the main suggestions.

“Eight pieces of gym equipment were installed at Torphichen Park at a cost of £15,000. No significant wear-related repairs have been carried out, which suggests it has not been heavily used.

“We also invested £18,000 to address drainage issues in the south east corner of the football pitch and prevent footpath flooding. We estimate that to improve the drainage for the entire pitch area would have cost over £120,000, double the £60,000 funding available at the time.

“The model of funding for projects like this has changed since 2015, and under Community Choices, any public safety issues such as flooding would now be given priority.”

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