West Byfleet Playground Upgrade
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Dear Mr Morgan and Ms Killian,
We, parents and local taxpayers, have raised, with your help, £55k to upgrade our local playground on West Byfleet Recreation Ground. Nothing has happened with this funding and the playground remains inadequate for the 300+ children that make use of it from the neighbouring schools and local community. The equipment is worn and unsafe in places where padded ground cover should be in place. Our children's climbing frame was removed more than three years ago and has not been replaced. In fact, at the time, there was a sign from the council stating that 'the climbing frame would not be replaced.'
In recent months we have read news stories about the proposal for a pub on the park and potentially in place of our existing playground. This would not only create a pub next to two schools (a potentially unsavoury neighbour for the schools) but also push our playground over towards a busy and dangerous main road.
We plea that you dismiss now any proposal of a pub on the recreation ground due to its negative impact on the community, our leisure space as well as our schools and the safety of our children.
We ask, instead, that you take action to upgrade the playground now with the funds that are already available through our grant. Make this space something that West Byfleet can be proud of for families and for the wider leisure community. Let's put play over pints and pounds and a focus back on the community and what makes it great.
Through doing this West Byfleet could become a flagship for leisure in the area; a new pavilion over the back or centre of the park could allow the bar aspect that a pub would provide but with the benefit of a hall to hire and changing rooms and maybe a sociable members club. A focus being more on providing health and exercise facilities to the community; tackling government initiatives on obesity and healthy living.
The upgraded park could incorporate a cycle loop around its borders with natural planting encouraging wildlife. A fantastic playground in place of our current play area could bring in more people; encouraging families of all ages from further away to visit the park and make use and spend time and money in West Byfleet.
Please seriously consider our view and say 'no' to a pub and 'yes' to upgrading our playground; to leisure time, space to play and an exciting and flourishing local area.
Rebecca Bradshaw and Emma Slaymaker
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