Monday, December 14, 2009

Moving on

There was great excitement at today's meeting of the Recreation committee of Egglescliffe & Eaglescliffe council. The meeting was held at Stirling House in Thornaby, home of the Stockton council officers who deal with parks and green spaces. Today was the day that the tenders for work on St Margaret's play area were to be discussed. Out of 11 initial expressions of interest 6 designs had been submitted. We had the job, working with council officers, of deciding on which ones should go through to the next stage of consulting with the young people of the area. Already the school council of the Links primary have had a look this afternoon and chose their favourite after much discussion. We looked, tried to imagine what a 5 year old would feel and what a 15 year old would feel when faced with the different designs; tried to imagine a child going there for 10 minutes on the way home from school and going for an hour or two on a Saturday afternoon. Was there enough play value, enough scope for imagination to run riot? Was there enough to keep the older ones amused so that they didn't feel the need to play over-vigorously on the smaller equipment? How much maintenance would the surface need? Would the equipment survive the winter?
At last there were 3 designs which seemed to fulfil most of the requirements we had. Ideally we'd like to take the best of all of them but as they come from different suppliers as well as different designers that won't be possible so now it's down to the children of the area to come up with their favourites. The officers are trying really hard to get into al the schools in the area as well as the youth club to see what the young people say. On 7th January they'll bring the results of those consultations to the Parish Council and a final decision will be made so that the order can be put in.
Meanwhile petition signatures continue to pour in, mainly from Eaglescliffe but also from other parts of Stockton including Ingleby Barwick. I do wonder whether there's as much support over there for the idea as is being suggested. Perhaps people over the other side of the river can see that in the current economic climate a bridge is unlikely to be built so children would still have to be bussed off the estate and they'd have lost a park which is visited by many of them.

No comments: