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Stockton council u-turn means Yarm children get their play park after all
CHILDREN are to get their play park after all following a council u-turn.
More than £50,000 of play equipment had been bought by Stockton Borough Council with a Government grant and some of it was earmarked for a new play area at Leven Park in Yarm.
Last week that idea was shelved because Stockton council, which is making massive cuts to its budget, was unable to maintain and monitor play park.
But, following emergency negotiations with Yarm’s borough councillors Ben Houchen, Andrew Sherris and Mark Chatburn, campaigners have contacted the paper to say Stockton council has changed its mind.
They say Stockton council will now fund two thirds of the maintenance costs, thought to be about £8,000 a year, over the next three years. The balance will be met by the Yarm councillors’ ward budgets.
Councillors Sherris and Chatburn are in negotiation with a number of potential sponsors to ensure the park’s long-term viability.
More than £30,000 of the play equipment bought by Stockton council will be installed at Leven Park along with a CCTV unit and work is expected to start soon.
Coun Sherris, who led the negotiations with council officers, added: “I am pleased that the council has now accepted the need to provide and maintain for years to come a new play park in this part of Yarm which is so lacking in any facilities for young children.
Yarm Mother Sarah Sherwood said: “It’s good to see the council are now listening to the people of Yarm and I hope this is the start of many good things to come.”
A Stockton Council spokesperson said: “We are supporting the ward councillors and have arranged joint funding to ensure the play area can be maintained.”