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Parsonage mums secure funds for a better play area



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The Parsonage Lane play area will undergo a £36,800 facelift this summer.

Parsonage Play Area, Bishops Stortford. Parsonage Playgroup mums and toddlers in the play area. The park hasn't been updated for nearly 30 years. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (7717278)
Parsonage Play Area, Bishops Stortford. Parsonage Playgroup mums and toddlers in the play area. The park hasn't been updated for nearly 30 years. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (7717278)

Last September, a group of mums spearheaded a campaign to persuade East Herts Council (EHC) to buy new equipment for the children’s playground in the Parsonage Lane playing field.

The group – all of whom take their kids to the toddler group at the Parsonage Lane community hall – launched an online petition to convince EHC that money should be allocated in the budget round to fund the improvements.

The group pointed out that the play area was in a sorry state, in desperate need of new, inspiring equipment and that the playground was inaccessible to children in wheelchairs. In addition, the gate which provides access from the path was broken, as was one of the swings.

The Indie publicised the petition after its initial launch. Kim Verbrugge, one of the mums who pioneered the project, said: “Thank you for sharing our story. Once it was published the council were quick to fix the broken equipment and together with the petition helped our overall cause.”

Parsonage Play Area, Bishops Stortford. Parsonage Playgroup mums and toddlers in the play area. The park hasn't been updated for nearly 30 years. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (7717281)
Parsonage Play Area, Bishops Stortford. Parsonage Playgroup mums and toddlers in the play area. The park hasn't been updated for nearly 30 years. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (7717281)

The online petition generated more than 500 signatures. More were added on hard copies at J E Williamson Chemist on Snowley Parade and the community hall.

The leisure and parks team at EHC confirmed that it would allocate £36,800 towards new equipment and flooring. Work is expected to begin this summer.

A spokesman for EHC said: “We have nearly completed our play audit across the district which will help to inform which items of equipment could be replaced. We are aiming to launch a public consultation in May, with a view to complete the works by the summer.”

Meanwhile, the Parsonage toddler mums who launched the petition have created an online questionnaire to give people a say on the equipment that they want to see installed. This is available online.



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