Double protest families urge Thanet council to rethink plans to replace Viking Ship play park – The Isle Of Thanet News

Demo Love our parks Photo Frank Leppard

Around 100 people turned out today (February 13) for a double demonstration at the Viking Ship play area and Dane Park in Margate.

Protestors at the Love Our Playgrounds protest were urging Thanet Borough Council to save the bespoke Viking ship and other equipment at Ethelbert Crescent Playground.

The play pieces, including the ship, are to be demolished and replaced with nine new pieces thanks to Community Parks funding of £169,517.

But Friends of Cliftonville Coastline campaigners are urging Thanet Council to reconsider the fact that the original Viking Ship installer was quoted just £27,000 to renovate the entire playground – meaning funding could be diverted to other play areas such as Dane, Tivoli and Laleham parks.

A spokesperson for the group said: “Why was this option not considered the best value for our money? Vast sums of grants are periodically used to replace playground equipment, but this is not only environmentally unsustainable, it does not address the endemic lack of upkeep and maintenance that plagues our playgrounds, meaning that children have to put up with lower playgrounds year after year. outside.”

FOCC picture

Campaigners say a refurbishment instead of replacement work would mean there would be funds to tackle the ‘overcrowded’ Dane Park gaming site which is ‘currently missing two much-needed slides’.

Funds for the Viking Ship Playground replacement work come from a £211,280 grant from the Kent County Council for Community Parks

The Viking Ship gaming site was closed to the public on February 9, with Thanet Council saying this was because the ship, some of the other play equipment and the play area cladding were not comply with current health and safety standards. Thanet’s council claims that the equipment and the ship continue to deteriorate and that the wood is decaying from within.

People are now welcome to use Dane Park as work is undertaken on the Viking Ship Playground.

New equipment for the Viking Ship site has been ordered and is being manufactured by supplier Kompan. Work should start at the end of March and end at the end of May. There are nine new play pieces featuring inclusive devices such as a wheelchair carousel.

Ward Councilor Alan Currie said: ‘The TDC rightly acted on the advice of safety inspectors that the Viking Ship Playground should be closed. However, the unexpected and welcome funding from KCC Community Parks has come at a critical time to give Cliftonville West a new, high-quality nine-unit play area that some residents may not like, but hopefully the kids will like it.

“Funding was time-limited and TDC officers had to move quickly to get everything in place, which meant that prior community engagement was not possible, which is a shame.
“Viking Ship maintenance and inspection costs had become unsustainable and once the new playground is installed it will mean more funds which can be allocated to other playgrounds in Thanet.”

Funding of £4,000 has also been allocated for the painting of play equipment and fencing at Crispe Park in Birchington. A further £14,700 will be used for security surfacing at Northdown Park and there is a provisional allocation of £16,000 for boundary fencing at Memorial Recreation Ground, Broadstairs.

Find Cliftonville Coastline friends on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/930934770896103

Extensive redesign of Viking Ship play area in Cliftonville approved as part of £211,000 parks funding for Thanet

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