Martin secures an extra £70,000 for Play Park
Tuesday 12th February 2019
For a number of years now I have been working towards delivering a new play park that will serve all the children of Ashbury, Ballymagee, Ballycrochan and Kilmaine. As part of our Councils Playpark Strategy for 2014–18 we commissioned an independent review of play provision within the Borough and this area was one of two which were highlighted as “cold spots”. In fact, based on the figures from that report, there were 2632 children in the area without satisfactory access to play facilities.
In the summer of last year I conducted my own survey of the area to identify where residents felt would be the best location for the facility. As part of that consultation two areas were identified, Linear Park (which Council currently owns) and the green area adjacent to the Ashbury shops (which is in private ownership).
The budget currently attached to the project is currently £100,000. It should be noted that this is £25,000 less that the one currently being delivered in Scrabo. I have therefore asked Council this month to add an additional £70,000 of capital funds to the project. It makes sound sense to plan ahead in terms of budgets to ensure that nothing will hinder this project from completion. This addition money in the budget will allow flexibility to deliver the very best facilities we can for this area in terms of equipment and space.
The final decision as to where the park will be situated is yet to be made and Council Officers are just about to carry out their own consultation exercise with residents in the area, but I personally found that a clear majority want the play park fenced, gated and situated at Ashbury. There were a number of legitimate concerns raised by residents who lived adjacent to Linear Park regarding the possibility of greater levels of anti–social behaviour. Residents need to understand that there is considerable work to complete in order to bring this project to completion but we have achieved a major step forward. I intend to press forward on this campaign to ensure this project is delivered in as timely a way as possible.