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Parents make park plea

By Sam Parker

Concerned parent Rachel Littlewood at the park at Norwood Gardens with the taped-off slide. 190418DD3-5
Concerned parent Rachel Littlewood at the park at Norwood Gardens with the taped-off slide. 190418DD3-5

Fed-up parents have joined forces to press for improvements at a run-down children’s play park.

The site just off Norwood Gardens, Southwell, features a taped-off slide, swings that have seen better days, and large gaps between the protective floor tiles.

Several families live nearby but the state of the park, which is believed to have been originally built in the 1950s, prompted a group of parents to call for improvements.

One of them, Rachel Littlewood, said she had lost patience with the poor state of the facility.

“If you take away places where children can run around, then what are you left with?” asked Rachel, who takes her six-year-old son, Finn, to the park.

“Southwell is a family town because we have excellent schools, but there are relatively few places for them to play safely.

“The play park is so old now that it needs to be completely renovated.

“The equipment is unsafe and not fit for purpose.

“The rubber matting is full of moss and cracks and access is a big issue. After rain the paths can become a complete bog and it is difficult to open the gates.

“There are cable ties on top of some of the play equipment to stop birds but there it still loads of bird mess.

“There also needs to be things for children of all abilities, like sensory equipment.”

The parents’ group is aiming to fundraise for improvements to the park.

Southwell Town Council clerk Tracey Broughton said the park was in need of repair and there was funding that could potentially be used to improve it.

It is due to be discussed at the next operations committee meeting.

'It took residents to point out the issues'

Mrs Beryl Prentice, chairman of the committee, said: “(The area) has got run down but unfortunately we have not had any spare money.

“Our guys have made running repairs on it for a few years.

“We are going to look at our available funds and see how we can meet with this group of parents and see what they would suggest.

“It comes down to how much money we have got to spend. We try to keep the precept down because people do not like a high precept.

“But we will be contacting the parents before the next meeting.”

Mr Peter Harris, speaking as an individual councillor, backed the parents’ concerns.

“It is disappointing that things haven’t been resolved earlier,” he said.

“It took residents to point out the issues.

“We have now got to the point where it might be difficult to repair the equipment.

“The first thing the parents want to do is to have a public event to decide what they want.

“We are probably looking into the high five-figures — possibly a six-figure sum — so, while the town council can do a bit, most of the repairs will be paid through fundraising.”


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