PARENTS calling for new play equipment in a Waterside village have had their plea rejected by cash-strapped councillors.

Marchwood Parish Council responded to complaints about Central Park by insisting all the council can do is repaint the existing apparatus. The run-down state of the vandalised play area was highlighted in a petition signed by people living in the Cranberry Close area.

"You may be fed-up of paying repair bills and I'm sure your workers are tired of picking up the mess," the petition said.

"We appreciate your efforts but ask that you go one step further and paint the park. Some new equipment would be wonderful too."

The petition was discussed at a meeting of the parish council's amenities committee. Chairman Ron Vango-Fisher said: "The play area is dilapidated, and the fencing and the gates run-down.

"The council hasn't got the money to replace the equipment, but will do its best with repairs and plans to repaint the swings shortly.

"We are aware that there are problems in the village, and in response to residents' concerns we intend to improve our rolling maintenance programme.

"In an ideal world it would be nice to replace some of the play equipment, but climbing frames and swings can cost £25,000."