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Parents team together to build new park
PARENTS want to help pay for a new play area for their children after a lack of money scuppered council plans.
People living in Brownlow Green, Basildon, have offered to contribute towards a new park after plans dating back to 2011 failed to materialise due to a lack of funding.
But council bosses have now promised to review the decision after residents said they would contribute towards the scheme.
Mother of three Toni Groves, 24, said: “It was something we thought we were getting and then it was scrapped from under our feet, and our children have been let down.
“The nearest park we have behind Stacey’s Corner is just not safe for our children to go to on their own. Because this area is so enclosed and safe everyone would be happy to let their children play here.
“I have spoken to every resident on our street and they all support us, even the elderly ones. It will take a lot of legwork but we are keeping our fingers crossed.”
Mother of two Cheryl Blythe, 31, set up a petition three years ago to reinstate a play area after the original one was removed ten years earlier, but no new site has been created.
She said: “I think the kids can get themselves into trouble if they don’t have anywhere to go. There are lots of children in this street and if we had a park in this area they could be monitored by their parents and it would just be a safe environment for them to play in.
“I’m pretty confident something will get done this time.”
Residents are hoping to encourage local businesses to contribute equipment and money towards the play area.
They will meet with Kevin Blake, Basildon councillor responsible for leisure and arts, on Wednesday to discuss their ideas.
He said: “I took a decision not to build any new parks when we were doing away with some of our bad play areas, so we could save some money and make what we have already got better not create more. We can’t afford to make areas when we then need to maintain them.
“If the community is willing to put their money where their mouth in and contribute then they deserve a chance and we could bring something to the table too.
“I can’t promise anything and I still stick by my policy, but ignoring their community spirit would be bad.”