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Carlisle residents' group thrashes out deal to save play equipment

The future of a Carlisle play area, due to have its play equipment removed, has been secured.

Residents have succeeded in thrashing out a deal to save the equipment.

The Belah Parkside Residents’ Committee met council officials as well as the authority’s deputy leader Elsie Martlew and Belah councillor Gareth Ellis to work out how it could be done.

They agreed that:

  • The Belah community group would provide funding for new play equipment in a move similar to an initiative in Belle Vue which saw a new revamped play area being installed with community and local authority support
  • The existing play area will remain untouched while fundraising gets underway, with the city council providing contacts for possible funding sources
  • The city council will insure and inspect the new equipment
  • Part of the larger playing field in the area will be levelled to provide another football pitch

And the onus will be on the community group to provide quality play equipment initially and in the future.

Mike Kingston, of the Belah Parkside Residents’ Committee, said: “Children in Belah will be thrilled with today’s decision.

“We are extremely grateful to both Mr Ellis for his continued support and to Mrs Martlew for sticking to her word and listening to the children of Belah.

“Now the difficult work begins – fundraising. With the right support from local organisations we hope to develop a park which could rival any other in Carlisle.”

Mrs Martlew said: “It was a really productive meeting and I enjoyed meeting the community representatives face-to-face. It was the first step towards a new future for Belah Parkside play area and the community group and the council are all on the same wavelength.

“It shows what the council and community can do together. We look forward to working with them in the future.”

Mr Ellis added: “This is a good result for the community of Belah. It is the children who will benefit today, tomorrow and into the future. We are grateful to the council in reconsidering its intentions to remove our equipment and welcome their support.”

The removal of the play equipment from 21 of the city’s 69 play areas will save at least £25,000 and potentially up to £400,000 in maintenance and equipment renewal costs, say council leaders.

Have your say

Bob let me just give you some information.

They didnt leave it to the last minute. They only found out about it at the last minute.

The community was out in force within 24 hours, within 24 days they had their play area saved, and a council with its tail between its legs.

Dont mess with the people of Belah. We bite, and we bite hard.

Over to you Bob.

Posted by someoneinbelah on 27 February 2014 at 22:59

Yes great news !! I remember when this was a proper park with swings that we could almost go over the top on and a roundabout that we used to play pick up sticks on or tig going around the outside of the bars then there was the see saw that we used to play bump on to see who we could knock off the middle and the massive pyramid climbing frame that we played tig on aswell where we had to get to the top before being tagged or even just hang upside down on it, or even just play rescue where we hid in the hedges and bushes that used to be there but then again this was before the barmy health and safety rules, they where all on concrete patches and many a time I went home with a grazed knee or head but they were great times when we were allowed to play without be shouted at or chased away by the nearby residents many of which used to come out and talk to us or if they had relatives visiting they would ask us to look after them and let the join in our games. Very well done to all that have campaigned to save this little park and I hope that you can get it back to the great park that it used to be

Posted by Old belah resident on 27 February 2014 at 18:28

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