CAMPAIGNERS say that there is a still a chance that a children's play area could return to West Kilbride after North Ayrshire Council finally wielded the axe at Crawfurd Park.

The under-threat facility closed down last Wednesday morning without any pre-warning or announcement.

Youngsters in the neighbourhood have to use the Kirktonhall swing park, which is a distance away from where they live.

Council staff had previously attempted to remove the equipment earlier in the year but were halted by angry parents who demanded a re-think.

There was a short-lived reprieve for the play area but following meetings with parents no resolution could be found and the equipment was removed.

Campaigner Laura Parker told the News that her daughter is devastated.

She said: "Nobody knew it was happening that day. We didn't manage to get an asset transfer arranged, which was a real shame.

"We had made appeals to the community through Facebook but we didn't get enough responses.

"We had several meetings with North Ayrshire Council but we needed more volunteers behind the scenes to save it. Ultimately it is very disappointing to lose the facility."

The one olive branch is that there is a possibility that if interested volunteers can come together to fundraise, equipment could be brought back and a new swing park could be built.

Another possible option is to follow the Fairlie approach by crearing a sensory garden with bright colours, children's board games and a sandpit in its place.

Laura said she would be contacting the Fairlie Community Garden committee for advice.

North Ayrshire Council said that savings were required and that the the swing parks were selected because of the cost involved in upgrading specific sites, not necessarily down to how busy they are.

Labour councillor Alex Gallagher said: "It is regrettable but grd decision had to be made. If there is a community solution then that would be the best possible outcome."