A SPAT over whether to build a play area in Frinton resulted in a councillor condemning the use of social media to canvas residents’ views.

Frinton town councillor Terry Allen had requested money be set aside in next year’s budget for a play area in the town.

But ward councillor Nick Turner railed against the idea, incensed by any notion of developing the town’s famous seafront Greensward.

Mr Allen said children cannot currently play safely on the Greensward due to numerous visitors treating the open space as a “sports field.”

At a recent meeting of the council, Mr Allen said his idea would see the play area built on the nearby Kiosk Field, which he argued is separate to the Greensward.

“I’ve never mentioned the Greensward, I’ve always mentioned the Kiosk Field,” he said.

“That was put in the newspaper and also went on social media – there were 230-plus comments because of that article and the majority in favour of it.

“As for payment of a play area on Kiosk Field, hopefully we could get some of the section 106 money coming into this area from the thousands of houses which are going to be built.”

Hundreds of comments were posted on social media pages, but Frinton councillor Vanda Watling said the views should not be counted, as there is no way of knowing whether they originate from residents of the town.

“I think it is a very dangerous thing to quote comments on Facebook as being fact,” she said.

“We don’t know where those people live, we don’t know if they’re even constituents.

“Councillor Turner and I have had many, many people email us, people that live in Frinton, telling us the last thing they want is a playground on the Kiosk Field.

“Don’t quote me Facebook, because social media is not a way to count things.”

“I’m personally not on it and a lot of the people we mix with aren’t on it, because they are elderly and they just don’t do that sort of thing.”

Alan Eldret, chairman of Frinton Residents Association, said building a play area in the town is not a priority for residents.

He said: “We’ve recently as town also installed a play area in Great Holland, we’ve got a play area in Jubilee Park.”

“Perhaps if the councillor in question can only think inside the gates, he might want to take up the issue of a town improved play area with residents in Wittonwood Road, inside his patch.”