A children’s playground has been rescued from demolition after local residents brought their MP into the fight.
Maidstone and the Weald MP Helen Grant was approached by Marden resident Anna Fisk, who also runs Marden Children’s Centre, after failing to secure council funding to maintain the play area in the Cockpit, Marden. Worse still Ms Fisk heard rumours that the play area may be removed completely.
After visiting the playground and meeting with local residents, Helen wrote to Maidstone Borough Council, made further extensive representations on behalf of the parents and children of the Cockpit and arranged a meeting with William Cornall, the newly appointed Director of Regeneration & Place at Maidstone Borough Council.
The playground is one of two in Marden. The council felt that children from Cockpits should be able to walk to the other playground without realising that many were much too small to wander unaccompanied or play without supervision. At their own playground they can be viewed by parents and carers from their own homes much more safely.
Mrs Grant was therefore delighted to receive a phone call from Mr Cornell on Friday 4th November in which he confirmed that MBC have commissioned repairs and maintenance to the value of £2,500 to take place on The Cockpit’s Playground with works commencing within 3 weeks.
On hearing the news, Helen said: “I am delighted by Maidstone Borough Council’s sensible decision to spend this money in a very valuable and needy area of my constituency. This small change will make the world of difference to local children and give them somewhere to play, have fun and just be kids.”
Anna said: “I am hugely satisfied that the Council has seen the importance and the worth of ensuring that the children who live on the cockpit estate, continue to have their own safe place to play. I am very happy that the council realise that such a simple low cost decision could have such a hugely positive impact on our community. We will always fight to keep our children’s right to play.”