Throughout the last year 2015 as you can read in the Year Review I produced recently, your City Councillor’s have been working hard to ensure that the wishes of the Young Parents Group come to fruition. The Wednesfield North young parents group have rightly identified that very young children have play equipment on The Ashmore Park which is of poor standard, and really does not cater for them or their children.
Currently the argument about the Children’s Park is that it’s not attractive, and it’s not safe for young children. Open to dogs and the waste that dogs create.I fully support the parents as they rightly demand fencing and play equipment that is on par with other Parks in other areas of Wolverhampton. They also have requested some play items that can be used by parents with young children with disabilities.
There have been a number of public meetings about their requests through the year (2015). All the City Councillors in the Ward are in favour of new investment to achieve their request.
We reported previously that the latest information on this important issue was that there was an existing s106 contribution of nearly £62K from the sale of the land.
City officials have recommended using this monies to re-design the site, firstly to make space for the installation of new equipment and secondly, to better position the existing equipment to serve different age groups. This is likely to involve the re-positioning of some equipment and a possible reconfiguring of inner paths etc, which would enable the City to fence and gate the most appropriate area, particularly the part serving younger children.
As part of the proposals these issues have had to be agreed by the City Council.
The latest news that I have now ascertained is that the ‘Approval process’ to release the funds is now complete (Corporate Landlord Board – October 2015/ Cabinet/full Council approval – December 2015). Finance section will now set up the cost codes and release of the Capital money into Public Realm Revenue budgets to commence the works.
There are some other steps towards the process that will now be carried out, the design work, the consultation on the design, and the testing of the design. to ensure we have a design that is fit for purpose. The timescale for this to happen will be towards the end of February 2016.
This is I am sure – will be recognised as ‘Good News’ by the Parent Group who have campaigned hard for action, and of course moving forward, the children, and parents involved. I am sure that when everything is complete and we have the Children’s Park operational, it will be a great asset for the whole of our community.