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Councillor wants help to move play equipment to a park in Walsoken

A Fenland councillor is calling for action to provide much needed play equipment at a children's play area.

Councillor Dave Patrick claims he has been fighting an uphill battle to have new equipment provided at the Jasmine Park in Walsoken and feels his attempts are being sabotaged.

Independent Coun Patrick claims the town council had originally agreed to provide funding for equipment before May's election when he ousted serving Conservative Garry Tibbs. But after the election money earmarked for Walsoken was reallocated to other projects in the town.

Councillor Dave Patrick has sourced some second hand play equipment for Walsoken play area.
Councillor Dave Patrick has sourced some second hand play equipment for Walsoken play area.

In August a meeting that was due to take place to discuss new equipment for Jasmine Park was cancelled after Phil Hughes Fenland's head of leisure services,announced officers were preparing a report for cabinet regarding play areas.

At the time he said: "This will allow the council to take a more strategic view of play area replacement and repair works, instead of an ad-hoc approach determined by, primarily, S106 funding."

However, Coun Patrick said since then he has managed to source some second hand play equipment, currently located in the garden of the now closed Wisbech Community House.

He said: "Clarion Housing have said I can have the play equipment for Jasmine Park. The equipment needs to be assessed by Fenland before it can be relocated to make sure it is safe.

"I have asked for officers to have a look at it and then get it moved, but so far nothing has been done. March is currently getting a £90,000 new skate park, I want just a small amount of money to relocate some second hand equipment to an area where there is nothing for the children.

"Kirkgate is in the top five per cent of most deprived wards in Cambridgeshire 17th out of 375 wards in total. The Children of Walsoken deserve better and I will not let this matter rest.

"It does not seem unreasonable to ask officers to assess the equipment and organise to have it moved. I have been told they will look at it and that it could be stored before a decision is made on where it should go.

"But I have sourced that play equipment for the children of Walsoken, so that is where it will be going. However, there seems to be no interest from officers in getting it done and I wonder if this reluctance is politically motivated."

Fenland District Council has been asked for a comment.

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