West Lothian playpark tribute agreed for late Deans South campaigner

Joe Baxter pictured with fellow Deans South  campaigner Kerry Macintosh. For almost 20 years both families held out for a home for a home as the condemned Deans South  became a Ghost estate.
-Credit: (Image: Kerry Macintosh)

Deans South campaigner Joe Baxter could be remembered in the area he fought so long for by having a park named after him.

West Lothian Council is in discussion with Springfield Developments about a new playpark in Deans South.

While the final decision will rest with the council there’s tentative agreement that the play area could be named Joe Baxter Park, with memorial seating and play equipment.

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Joe died of cancer just a month before he could move into a new home with wife Isabel. The 83 year old was one of a handful of homeowners who fought for a fair deal when Deans South was condemned by West Lothian Council over RAAC roofing planks in 2004.

Joe was well known in Livingston as an evangelist. He worshipped and was part of the Christian Brethren at the Gospel Hall in Livingston for 58 years.

Mrs Baxter finally moved into her new home last week, followed a few days later by former neighbour Kerry Macintosh.

Fellow campaigner Kerry raised a petition of almost 300 names and asked the council to name a street in the redeveloped Deans area after Joe. She took her plea to a meeting of the council earlier this month.

Kerry told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “ I am so happy, so happy, and the family will be happy. He deserves to have a tribute. He was the campaigner who fought for all the homeowners. He is here in spirit with Isabel and with all of us.”

Redevelopment work is still ongoing at Springfield’s site in Deans South. A play park is part of the plan.

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