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Spalding councillor Angela Newton calls for South Holland District Council to spend more on its play areas

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Calls have been made to spend more on the district’s play areas after the ‘ludicrous’ budget was revealed.

Spalding councillor Angela Newton is demanding more money is pumped into maintaining play grounds in order to encourage youngsters to play.

South Holland District Council has a budget of just £2,000 to cover maintenance for its 35 play areas.

Coun Angela Newton, centre, with resident Chris Grey and Coun Anthony Cronin
Coun Angela Newton, centre, with resident Chris Grey and Coun Anthony Cronin

Coun Newton has raised the issue after a playground in Lavender Drive, Spalding, has been closed for more than a year due to safety concerns.

She said: “That is a ludicrous budget. That must be from 1993 when the council first started. We don’t want to lose play areas - we want more.

“Grandparents want something local that they don’t have to walk 20 minutes with a toddler.”

The Lincolnshire Health and Wellbeing Board recently revealed figures which showed that in South Holland, 26.4% of reception children (aged four or five) are overweight or obese.

Environmental Services portfolioholder Roger Gambba-Jones revealed at last week’s Full Council meeting that the Lavender Drive play area would take three times the council’s budget to repair. He also called for a district-wide play area strategy.

The council says it having ongoing discussions to assess how it can better maintain and improve the play areas across South Holland.

A spokesman said: "The play areas are inspected on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis by the Environmental Services team according to the council’s internal maintenance procedures to ensure that all equipment remains safe and useable for children.

"Should any issues be found within the play areas, the Environmental Services team will draft a report and business case for necessary repairs to be completed as quickly as possible. Until repairs have been carried out, the team will cordon off the parts of play area which are deemed unsafe.

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