DCSIMG

‘Our children need somewhere to play’

Newmarket Journal - March 2014

Local parents and children who are battling for a play area to be built on the patch of land next to The Beeches village centre in Isleham.
Pic - Rich Marsham ANL-140317-092021001

Newmarket Journal - March 2014 Local parents and children who are battling for a play area to be built on the patch of land next to The Beeches village centre in Isleham. Pic - Rich Marsham ANL-140317-092021001

Isleham parents are angry that the development of a new village centre, costing more than £1 million, has left them without a play park for their children.

Mum of two Jo Cant, who lives in Coates Drove, said: “Before the new community centre was built the children in Isleham had a play area,now they have nothing.

“The old play area was taken down last year, just a few weeks before the summer holidays and we were told a new play park would be installed shortly after the opening of The Beeches at the end of last year.”

But Mrs Cant said that at its meeting last month the parish council told residents that a new park had never been part of the budget for the centre and there was no funding available for a play area.

“We were all, as a village, led to believe that the play park was going ahead as part of the main building.

“Why dismantle the old play rea before securing funding for a new one. Isleham is a growing village, a play area is much needed particularly as a lot of mums don’t drive and need a facility they can walk to.

“If the council had engaged more with the community it would have discovered there were dads who were happy to volunteer to build a play park

An example of the community spirit was proved by villagers helping to clear the site in anticipation of the play park.”

After residents started a petition, which to date has more than 400 signatures, councillors discussed the matter at its meeting earlier this month and issued the following statement.

“It was agreed unanimously to apply for a public works loan of £100,000 to cover the cost of the new play area on the recreation ground. The loan repayment for the financial year 2014-15 will be funded out of the parish council’s reserves therefore it is not necessary to raise the precept to cover this.”

The new recreation area is expected to cost in the region of £90,000 and the remainder of the cash will be used to pay for safety fencing round the cricket pitch and to top up a fund for a village skate park for older children.

Quotes to provide the new play area are expected to be presented at next month’s parish council meeting on April 7.

 

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