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Local Campaigners and Parents stand up to save local park under threat of axe

April 4, 2014 3:55 PM

Eagle-eyed Lib Dem campaigner James Willis spotted Maidstone Borough Council's hit list planning the closure of a number of local play areas. This list includes the play area in Freshland Road, West Maidstone, enjoyed by his toddler daughter Ava. He immediately notified local people and launched a petition. The petition, which has so far been signed over 200 local residents, asks that Freshland Road Park be saved.

James said:

"My daughter loves it there and with so many open spaces under threat from Conservative house-building plans, where is she going to play? This could see play areas being removed from inner urban areas where they are often most needed. Relatively new and inexpensive sites such as Freshland Road - where my family plays - is used by numerous children. I am so pleased that local parents agree we must stand up to keep these local amenities."

Parliamentary campaigner Jasper Gerard said:

"With a planned housing explosion there are likely to be many more children needing these facilities in the years ahead. But after Conservative-run Kent County Council closed many children's centres and failed to allocate extra resources to schools for the new children, these are worrying times for young people in our area."

"Whilst I do accept that some of the open spaces are in a near-derelict condition, I am concerned that smart inexpensive areas like Freshland Road as well as much-loved havens like Shaw Close play area at Penenden Heath, Roseholme in Fant and Keswick Drive in Allington are at risk. These areas have no resident groups or parish council. Residents and parents have been very supportive of James's petition and it has reached three figures. I will work with local councillors such as Dan Daley in Allington and Sam Roach in Fant as well as other Lib Dem campaigners to keep these essential sites open. I urge residents to get in touch if they also feel their local park needs support."

Have a look at the list of threatened play areas below and then sign our petition!

Full list of Play Areas under threat:

· Woolley Road, Senacre

· Westmorland Close, Shepway

· Juniper Close, Allington

· Franklin Drive, Grove Green

· Reinden Grove, Downswood

· Riverhead Close, Allington

· Somerset Road, Shepway

· Whitebeam Drive, Coxheath

· Keswick Drive, Allington

· Cockpits, Marden

· Peverel Drive, Grove Green

· Crownfields, Grove Green

· Fairhurst Drive, Dean Street

· Bedgebury Close, Vinters Park

· Roseholme, Fant

· Fountain Park, South Maidstone

· James Street, Town Centre

· Shaw Close, Penenden Heath

· Freshland Road, Queens Road

· Shepherds Gate Drive, Grove Green