THE parents of a severely disabled 10-year-old have expressed their disappointment after a council project to refurbish their village’s playground failed to make it inclusive.

Denbighshire County Council (DCC) said in December that it would review its provision of disabled access at playgrounds across the county, however it has been criticised after it spent £128,000 to renovate Henllan playground last year with state-of-the-art equipment including a zip wire and football goal – but decided against providing disabled access despite being aware that a family in the village needed it.

The parents, Tony and Diane Adams, whose daughter is wheelchair bound and cannot talk or hear, made adaptations to their Meifod Road home of eight years such as railings and a ramp so that she could live there.

They have an eight-year-old daughter who can use the playground but requested either a path to be laid down between the park and a nearby side gate or a ramp to be built on the adjacent bank, where there are currently only stairs, before it opened in July.

The parents also hoped an inclusive roundabout would be built for their daughter as the nearest inclusive park is a 25-minute drive away, which is “a full day out” and can only be visited on weekends.

“We were all excited about being able to use the park,” Mr Adams said. “But when it opened we found they hadn't been built.

"The park is completely brand-new, the council has spent a lot of money but they could not even build a path for our daughter to get to it.

"It would have been nice for us all to go down to the park but we cannot carry the wheelchair across the grass.

"Now we have to travel 25 minutes to the nearest disabled access playground in Ruthin, which is a full day out. We can't go during the week.

"I understand disabled equipment is more expensive and manufacturers charge four times the price but they could have quite easily made provision for the amount spent.

"We do not feel there is much support."

Mr Adams made the request to Henllan Community Council who voiced it to DCC at a meeting during the consultation process.

County councillor for Henllan Geraint Lloyd-Williams, who was involved in the project, said the funds were not available to DCC to build a ramp or disabled playground.

He added that improving the surface of the pathway to the playground “was discussed but not proceeded with [but] may be revisited at a later date if funding became available”.

Cllr Mabon ap Gwynfor, who made the call for DCC to review its support for disabled children's right to play across the county, expressed his disappointment that the 10-year-old's plight was not addressed and and that "saying equipment for disabled children is more expensive doesn't wash".

He said: "Disabled children are far too often forgotten about and ignored, meaning that they lose out through no fault of their own. We really need to make sure that the needs of people with disabilities are considered as a matter of course. It means a culture change in the way we do things.

“Saying that equipment for disabled children is more expensive doesn't wash. It's far better to see a simple playground where all the children are able to enjoy than a lavish playground which excludes some because of their disabilities."

Glenn Swingler, county councillor for Henllan, was not involved in the refurbishment until late in the planning stages. He said: "I absolutely agree with Cllr ap Gwynfor that disabled access and facilities should be included in all play areas.

"We must ensure equality across all council facilities."

A DCC spokesperson said: “Prior to the play area being refurbished at Maes Sadwrn, Denbighshire Housing completed a full consultation exercise with the community council and local residents.

“The plans were shared with the community at an information event held on April 13, 2018 at the park itself.

“Although fully accessible equipment was not included within the scope of this specific project, the council will be completing a full appraisal of all housing playground sites during 2019 to ensure they are fully compliant with the Equalities Act.

“Where applicable we will consider further alterations to existing play areas and will ensure where possible all sites are developed so as not to adversely disadvantage any children from using or directly accessing the facilities.”