Sometimes it’s good to visit a ‘site’ before you discuss it at a council meeting. So today I wondered along to John Fisher Playground, otherwise known as the Grange playground, to see what sort of state it was in.
Sometimes you get that kind of heart sinking moments and this was one of them. Whilst most of the play equipment remained intact, it really is showing it’s age and signs of little maintenance. It’s sad when you see this as play areas like this are lovely, traditional spots for children to socialise outside of the school playground and also an opportunity for parents to enjoy their children in the outdoors. As a parent myself, it’s one of the few outings when you don’t have to dip into your pocket!
Rayleigh Town Council has already decided on the transfer of the play equipment maintenance from Rochford District Council to Rayleigh Town Council. Rayleigh Town Council is renown for it’s high standards of maintenance in King George’s Park, so this really is a test for them. On the surface it looks like a good idea, though I do have my concerns over sustainability of the maintenance in the long term. Just as once Rochford District Council could afford to maintain these play areas (they now have a budget of around £25k for the whole district), who’s to say Rayleigh Town Council won’t be hit by the same cuts and strains on their finances in the future years?
I happy to report, that RDC’s officer responsible for these play areas will be in attendance at the meeting on Monday to answer a question I have put to Rochford Council, as to whether they will transfer section 106 payments over to Rayleigh Town Council that they have received from developers. Once the better weather comes along (hopefully), it would be nice for these areas to be reignited with the sound of children’s laughter and happy memories.
If you are able to attend the meeting please come along. You can speak if you wish or I would be happy to hear from you prior to the meeting to put your views forward on your behalf.
I will updated this post after Monday with more information…..