Pupils grill Carlisle MP over disappearing play parks
Last updated at 11:23, Saturday, 07 June 2014
Young protesters grilled Carlisle’s MP – demanding to know why their play parks are vanishing.
John Stevenson had to field some tough questions after visiting Inglewood Infant School in Harraby, Carlisle.
Pupils wanted answers after the city council began stripping rotting play equipment from several local parks.
The mini press conference was sparked by seven-year-old Ben Wilkinson who launched a petition in protest at the move.
He wrote a letter to Mr Stevenson and the council and collected signatures from all 27 of his classmates in support.
Ben’s message read: “Inglewood are trying to stop you tearing parks down – I have made a petition with all of class 8 on it.
“My name is Ben and I would like to keep our parks.”
Karen Clarke, the school’s deputy head, said the class of seven and eight year olds lined up a series of hard-hitting posers for the politician.
She explained: “The children are interested in the fact that some local parks are having to close. We are quite lucky to have so many parks in our area so they were thinking of the other children who aren’t so lucky.
“They asked him [Mr Stevenson] why these parks are having to be closed and what happened to the equipment after it was taken away.
“It came about after Ben had been listening to what was going on in the news and it’s a pertinent issue to the children.
“He picked up on it and wrote the letter off his own back and drummed up support from the other pupils.”
Other teasers fired at Mr Stevenson from the Jeremy Paxmans of the future included: ‘Where do you work’, ‘How big is Westminster’, and ‘Do you have any friends?’.
Fortunately the Tory MP was braced for the barrage. He said: “I’m always tickled by the way primary school children always ask very direct and honest questions – it can catch you out.
“I laughed when I was asked if I had any friends but luckily I have a few so it was okay!
“They’re not old enough to understand the implications but they grasped the effect that taking these play areas away has on them.”
Carlisle City Council originally earmarked 21 play areas for the removal of equipment, saving up to £400,000.
So far 14 parks have been stripped bare while talks are ongoing with parish councils in Arthuret, Brampton and Dalston over how they could be run by local communities.
First published at 10:51, Saturday, 07 June 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
Have your say
- Warning as 1,800 council jobs hang in the balance (54 comments)
- New report tells how Talkin Tarn could become self-financing (15 comments)
- Fight to block £20 parking charge stepped up by campaigners (30 comments)
- New headline act for Carlisle's Christmas festivities (15 comments)
- Girl, 7, conned into sending nude photos to internet sex predator (11 comments)
- Carlisle star Matt Pagan gutted as Collabro Xmas lights switch-on called off (34 comments)
- Cumbria council hires PR guru - at cost of £700 a day (83 comments)
- Cost of on-street parking charges revealed by Cumbria council (105 comments)
- Carlisle's The Lanes shopping centre on verge of expansion (57 comments)
Court & crime
- It’s all gone south for us northeners (13 comments)
- Represent us on parking charges (2 comments)
- Take a bite out of me, me, me (4 comments)
- Cumbria: outdoors theme park or sprawling retirement village (2 comments)
- More Mark Green
|NEWS & STAR ON:|
- Firefighters called after woman gets stuck in Ulverston pool
- Public can help decide future of historic Ulverston cottage (5 comments)
- Lucas Palfreeman
- New Ulverston emergency services centre planned (8 comments)
- Jobs hope as Cumbria lighting firm bags luxury jets contract
- Police descend on Ulverston home thought to be drugs hub
- Village holds summit on plans to demolish Coot
- News from Ulverston Operatic Society
- Ulverston photographer has answered the call of the wild
- Floods spark fresh fears over Ulverston housing