Mums continue fight for better play equipment in Melton park

Some of the parents, and their children, who are campaigning for play equipment at Melton's Play Close park to be modernised EMN-191023-101018001
Some of the parents, and their children, who are campaigning for play equipment at Melton's Play Close park to be modernised EMN-191023-101018001
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Six mums who have campaigned for an overhaul of the ageing play equipment in a Melton park say they are ‘thrilled’ by plans to install a modern new playground.

But they have voiced concerns that it may never go ahead in the Play Close because of the need to source £120,000 funding to make it happen.

We reported last week that Melton Town Estate wanted to created a destination play park including a multiplay unit capable of allowing up to 42 children, including those with disabilities, to play on it at the same time.

It would include features such as a speed slide and spinning gyro and it is hoped it would be paid for by the FCC Communities Foundation.

Phase two would then see existing play equipment upgraded and modernised if contributions can be sought from developers building new homes in the town.

Sarah Smith kicked off the campaign when she wrote to the town estate in the summer of 2018 and she has attended numerous meeting with officials and representatives of Melton Council along with other parents.

She told the Melton Times: “We are thrilled that the town estate is now planning to create this new park.

“The equipment here is so old and it doesn’t engage the children enough.

“If you Google play parks in the 1950s you will see pictures which show parks exactly like this.

“Some of the children actually prefer playing in the bushes rather than the equipment here.”

The campaigning mums, who also include Faye Meakin, Catherine Shephard, Anna Fryer, Sharon Glancy and Isla Cullingworth, also say the park at the moment caters only for ages five and under.

Children at the park told us they were bored with the existing equipment because it wasn’t engaging or challenging enough for them.

The town estate hopes to build the new play park by next August if funds are provided for it. It emerged at the recent annual meeting that the charity has an investment portfolio of £2,343,356.

Sarah and the other mums would like to see some of this money spent on the play park.

She added: “It is a strange situation that the town estate is sitting on all this money and yet are looking for funding, and the council can’t get involved because the park is owned by the town estate. We are worried this new play park will never actually happen.”