FRUSTRATED families in Clifton and Clifton Moor say they cannot use children's play areas in the height of summer holidays because of rubbish and mess left in the parks.

A play area on Broadstone Way, Clifton Moor, has been at the centre of a land wrangle over recent months, with City of York Council's maintenance staff forced to wait for lawyers to confirm the council is in fact responsible for the area before they could work on the site.

Now the council's responsibility for it has been confirmed, work has started to clean up the play area but council workers say it could take some time for the park to be brought back up to scratch.

Local campaigner Mark Waudby said people nearby wanted to use the play area through the summer holidays, and were frustrated with the bureaucratic delays that meant it had been unfit for use.

The council's Russell Stone added: “Unfortunately there has been a long standing issue with the adoption of this area, which meant we were unable to carry out routine maintenance work. The problem has now been resolved and the long grass cut back. It will take a few more cuts to bring this area up to standard but we hope that it will become a highly valued play area for local families."

In nearby Clifton, the poor state of another play area on Crombie Avenue has prompted anger from families nearby,

Valerie Ledger, who lives nearby, said she has not been able to take her six year old grandson to the swings, or let him play football on the grass, because the park is "absolutely filthy".

And despite trying to get in touch with the right council department and make her complaint heard, she thinks the park has gone unattended for as much as six months.

Mrs Ledger said: "It's got bottles and litter all over it, it's disgusting."

Mr Stone said the council welcomed feedback on play areas around the city, and visits each one weekly for a safety check and litter pick.

He urged people concerned about any play area to phone the council on 01904 551551.