Calverton Parish Council have completed a unique survey of village junior school children as part of the major refurbishment of both Parish Council owned parks, William Lee Memorial Park on Park Road and Seely Park on Main Street.
A working group headed up by Cllr Lorraine Brown, included Cllr Joan Inger, Cllr Paul Winfield and Cllr Andy Meads (Parish Council Chairman) produced a five year plan for the development of both parks and village hall. As part of this five year plan, a number of improvements were identified, including new play equipment at both parks.
When it came to choosing what play equipment to install at Seely Park, the working group decided to ask all the 630+ junior school children from St.Wilfrids, Manor Park, and Sir John Sherbrooke schools to vote on what they would like. A presentation was held at each school by Cllr Meads and Cllr Inger. It was also an opportunity to talk to the children about the negative consequences of vandalism and graffiti.
Each child was supplied with seven coloured adhesive dots and a number of A4 photos of play equipment displayed for them to choose from. The total number of dots for each item of play equipment has now been collated so that the parish Council can finalise the quote and place the order from the contractor.
Work is expected to start in the summer and once completed, there will be a grand opening party.
At William Lee, the need for new bins and picnic benches (both adult and child sized) were initially highlighted along with new play equipment. The transformation of the redundant old pitch and putt site to a new wildlife area has recently been planted with over 600 trees, many by the local community. The village hall car park extension with improved lighting is due to start this month giving much needed additional parking for football matches and events.
Around £160,000 is being spent at both parks, with climbing nets and zip wires, new seating, and bins. The Parish Council are spending another £152,000 on the childrens play area at Seely Park, this has previously been the target for vandalism and arson.
The total spend on both parks will be over £310,000, none of this money is coming from residents Council Tax bills, instead it is being funded through grants and Section 106 money that Cllr Meads has claimed back from Gedling Borough Council on behalf of the Parish Council.