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Give Us Our Park Back At Stobbs Crescent, Kilwinning

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Following the removal of the climbing frame which was termed as 'reaching the end of its life' we were informed that the climbing frame shall not be replaced but there is a possibility of new play park equipment being installed at the rear of the school out with the housing scheme in the Blacklands.

We collectively ask decision makers to put yourself in the shoes of the child and parents alike, just for one moment, to think about it from their perspective and ask if what is proposed is the best outcome taking the following into consideration:

Residential complaints were cited as an issue prompting discussions of the relocation of which park. This is a park that has been there for over 20 years and must have been there when said residents moved there whilst almost certainly being enjoyed by their young people. But those concerned are happy to discriminate against everyone else's young people and it is believed that those complaints come from one or two residents. We appreciate their concerns but ask if the huge minority should shape the future at the detriment of everyone else.

Those young people are our future tax payers and in one way or another will contribute to those complainants elderly care. It shouldn't be forgotten that young people are the future of our society and with young people increasingly being shunned by the very ones that should be leading by example they are increasingly feeling ostracized from our society leading to frustration.

It was highlighted in a recent study (Irvine Bay 2009) that Kilwinning is regarded as 'not family friendly' and these actions only pave way for this issue to increase and not a legacy that we should be proud of.

The concerns raised in the re-location of the park include:

The proposed site is the main thoroughfare from town to Pennburn that sees many strangers to the young people using it. It is also next to the bowling club that has the sale and consumption of alcohol, a train line and tunnel. As a notorious trouble spot with teenagers where there is often fighting, drinking resulting in regular breaking of glass in the MUGA combined with regular use of trail bikes. It should be noted we have no issues with teenagers, a facility for teenage play would more be desirable in the proposed location with maintenance being a primary concern.

It is a concern that the site is out of sight from parents which may result in many young people not being permitted to play there and when they are may possibly need a parent to accompany them reducing use and play free from parental hovering, instead of play within reach of a watchful eye and safe harbor, diminishing autonomy in our young people.

A play park located within our housing schemes should be embraced and we are asking those with decision making powers not to create an 'unreachable rainbow over an scary hill' with the view of ‘children should be seen (or not even as the case may be) and not heard’.

Our play park is important to us, young old and alike. The park:

• provides a haven of social interaction
• promotes play aiding the goal in the reduction in childhood obesity
• helps our young people build confidence encouraging the mixing with
other kids from different schools and backgrounds
• helps teach common sense
• when the school bell rings it is a hub of young people burning off
energy thus creating a community based area for parental interaction with young people and each other aiding discourse.
• lastly but not leastly, it is easy to forget that, play parks create childhood memories that live with you forever

With the Blacklands being in the top 5% decile of deprivation in Scotland (SIMD 2009), the removal or relocation of our play park it only increases the necessity to travel to other areas causing increased environmental concerns and economic impact on those with the least to spare in having to find alternative entertainment for their young people.

In Kilwinning, and specifically in the Blacklands, Hawthorn Court and the Ladyford area, we have gone from 4 fantastic play parks that were hives of activity to a set of swings in one of those parks. The predecessors of our current decision makers would possibly find this remarkable at this damaging legacy when in the 1970s the country also saw a double dip recession but play parks were still abundant. We know times are hard and this is even more reason to ensure that our young people have at least a place of play that doesn't cost anything to use and is centrally located in our schemes.

So we the undersigned are asking you our 'public servants' to not shun our young people to the outskirts of our society and give us back our park in Stobbs Crescent.



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