Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Where will the Children Play?

A year or so ago councillor Simon Moores asked what residents would like to see on the old putting green site adjacent to the St Mildred's Bay car park. He very kindly arranged for the removal of the fencing on one side to allow access to the public. The site has been maintained as a green but apart from use by dog walkers nothing else has happened.

There is a problem in Westgate as there is a lack of play areas for children and toddlers. I understand that the national standard is 0.7 hectares per 1000 population. So it would appear that this part of Westgate and Westbrook is woefully inadequate in terms of play provision. The nearest is on the Lymington Road estate which is at a considerable distance away certainly beyond the walking distance of a toddler or young child.

Therefore the suggestion is that some play provision should be provided on this site. Oh I hear cries of health and safety and ROSP approval as well as funding. When so many experts are employed by our council surely these hurdles could be overcome. Surely a play area has to be better than a doggy toilet.

My vision is that it should have a nautical theme with maybe a play boat, a few swings and some picnic benches. This would not be expensive compared to other schemes like bulldozing skate parks.

A provision like this would bring more revenue to the car park and surrounding cafes and a very worthwhile amenity to an area that generally does not demand much from its local council. And best of all the children would have somewhere to play all the year round.

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. Feedback from this posting shows differing opinions. These are posted below:

    "Think the play area is a great idea + I love the boat!"

    “That sounds a great idea provided the unsocial doggy owners don’t let their dogs deposit poo all round the play area!

    In principle I think it is a good idea.”

    “Sounds like an excellent idea. They have a very good one on Herne Bay seafront.”

    “I think its a brilliant idea! Suggest setting up a Westgate Play Area Action Group (with an umphier title than that!) -

    If I remember rightly residents local to Lymington Road did just that ensuring they got exactly what they and the youngsters wanted and were able to attract the funding too. Think people now on the Community Centre committee were involved.

    Good Luck - and best wishes”

    “I think first class idea everybody will get some benefit, and will stop some car drivers from parking on there.”

    “Yes a good idea, I thought this was a generally approved idea and had Cllr Simon Moores' backing, I think he had said that several picnic benches would also be a good idea but at the time that there was no spare TDC money for this. Together with a play area a great improvement would be made for both local and visiting families, and as Thanet promotes the area for holidays and tourism should be looked at positively.”

    “I personally have no objection to this as long as dog walkers are still allowed to use part of the ground for dog walking. We are not allowed on the beach during the daytime and I like a lot of people like to walk our dogs on this part of the green because it is a safe place for dog walking. Don't ban the dogs from this area because it is the only place I can walk my dog during the summer months. My taxes pay for amenities which should be for locals as well as tourists. The vast majority of dog walkers pick up dogs poo on this patch of ground and we like to meet and let our dogs have a play. It is used by a lot of local dog walkers and I for one would be very annoyed if I could not walk my dog on this land.”

    “just seen the article on play area on putting green. I would not be in favour of this & so far everyone I have spoken to agree with me. I do not think the houses facing this area would be too pleased we already have trouble with hooligans breaking into beach huts & smashing bottles in the sunken gardens this would just give another place to destroy. Also not everybody wants the noise of children screaming & playing they have the beach & most have gardens. As for it being a dog toilet that is down to bad owners & lack of wardens and these owners would still let their dogs foul on a play area. I for one would not support this & I know I am not alone”

    Also two councillors replied. The problem is funding and that the TDC may have future use for the area. So there you have it.