A TOTAL of 30 smaller playparks across the central Borders are to be sacrificed to help pay for new facilities.

And the plans by Scottish Borders Council have already attracted anger from parents.

The Conservative-Independent administration at Scottish Borders Council agreed its 10-year spending plan on play facilities back in February.

And over the next four years a total of six new playparks, three skateparks and four fitness shelters are to be built.

But no allowance for the upkeep of the new facilities has been added into the budgeting.

Since similar proposals were unveiled for Berwickshire and Tweeddale, the local authority has come in for criticism.

Scottish Nationalist councillor Heather Anderson, who represents Tweeddale West, told us: “Our mailboxes are overloaded with complaints about the proposal to cut local playparks.

“We shouldn’t be closing very local playparks for small children if we can possibly avoid it.”

Major parks in Selkirk, Galashiels, Harestanes and Kelso have all opened in recent years.

And new facilities in Stow and Oxton have also opened.

The council's spending plan will continue with new playparks earmarked for Coldstream, Peebles, Earlston, Duns and Eyemouth over the next two years.

A new pump track is also planned for Hawick's Wilton Park as well as skate parks in Jedburgh and Peebles.

But in order to cover the costs of maintaining the new equipment a cull of 74 smaller play facilities across the region is planned - including 30 around the Eildon area.

Among the identified playparks to be decommissioned are 12 in Galashiels - Balnakiel Terrace, Broom Drive, Croft Street, Kingsknowe, Lee Brae, Netherbank, Roger Quin Gardens, Rosebank Place, Syke's Acre, Waverley Place and Woodlea - four in Earlston - Acorn Drive, Everest Road, Gun Road and Summerfield - four in Selkirk - Bannerfield small park, Fairfield Crescent, Heatherlie Park and Rosebank Quarry - and three in Melrose at Eildon View, Fairways and Priors Walk.

Playparks in Darnick, Fountainhall, Gattonside, Lauder, Newstead and Newtown St Boswells are also facing the chop.

Opposition councillor Stuart Bell, who represents Tweeddale East, said: “Parents tell us that – particularly for small children – they value small local facilities where the kids don’t have to cross busy roads, and parents can keep an eye on them.

“These parents have a right to be consulted on any changes.”

Council leader Shona Haslam has been driving the plans forward.

And she believes that the sacrifice of smaller playparks will be worth it.

Councillor Haslam said: “Our investment means we will have better and bigger facilities but some smaller sites will have to close.

“We have lots of old equipment in unsuitable locations, for example on concrete standings or in areas that flood easily, are often vandalised, or in a poor state of repair – and we are discussing with communities what should happen to these.

"We want our playparks to be the best, but that may mean that some of the single swings or roundabouts may have to go.”