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South Holland councillor Roger Gambba-Jones calls for play area strategy as repairing Lavender Drive playground would cost three times the district's pathetic' budget



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Repairing a small play area, which has been closed for almost a year, would cost three times the district’s ‘pathetic’ budget for recreation grounds.

Spalding councillor Angela Newton hoped to see the small playground near the town’s Lavender Drive open for the summer holidays but was told that it would take £6,000 to repair.

Coun Roger Gambba-Jones, environmental services portfolio holder, confirmed the district’s budget for play grounds is £2,000 and called for a strategy for the area’s recreation grounds.

This play area close to Lavender Way in Spalding has been closed for more than a year (58299995)
This play area close to Lavender Way in Spalding has been closed for more than a year (58299995)

An incredulous Coun Newton said at Wednesday’s full council meeting: “The budget is £2,000 - that is pretty pathetic.”

Earlier she had told the meeting that the play area has two pieces of equipment which had been installed by the builder.

She highlighted issues with the safety surfacing.

This play area close to Lavender Way in Spalding has been closed for more than a year (58299993)
This play area close to Lavender Way in Spalding has been closed for more than a year (58299993)

Coun Newton said: “It has been closed for over a year. Monkshouse is not a million miles away but local children and grandchildren can get there without having to go a long way so parents and grandparents can keep an eye on them.”

The longstanding councillor added that there was a shortage of facilities in South Holland and hoped it would be open for the summer holidays.

She said: “When I spoke to the officer he said that he didn’t know who to refer it to which saddened me.”

This play area close to Lavender Way in Spalding has been closed for more than a year (58299991)
This play area close to Lavender Way in Spalding has been closed for more than a year (58299991)

Coun Gambba-Jones said the play area had been closed off due to the condition of the equipment and surfacing but also stated that a fence had also been removed.

He said: “The subsequent inspection has led to an assessment and the estimate of a repair bill which works out to be three times the annual budget for the whole district.

“I do know you have raised concerns about the play surfacing at Monkshouse play area and I think the money would be better spent there.”

Coun Gambba-Jones also highlighted that there were other nearby play areas and pointed out that Government advice had encouraged people to walk to play areas as part of obesity strategies.

He went onto say: “While I have sympathy with you and the residents of this area, it was of its time which was 1991. We put this thing in without any real strategy or approach on how we were doing it.

“We are going to review our approach on these things and come up with a play area strategy for the district.”



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