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New £11k multi-play unit for Thatcham park



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Improvements to play parks in Thatcham have begun with new equipment being introduced.

Dunstan Green received a new toddler multi-play facility in late March noting the beginning of a wider roll out of refurbishments and replacements over the next two to three years.

Thatcham Town Council, which operates 12 play parks in the town, spent £11,650 on the new "modern" play unit, which it hopes will live for longer than the equipment that previously stood in its place.

Councillors Owen Jeffery, Jeremy Cottam and Mark Lillycrop with the new play equipment at Dunstan Green. Picture by: Thatcham Town Council
Councillors Owen Jeffery, Jeremy Cottam and Mark Lillycrop with the new play equipment at Dunstan Green. Picture by: Thatcham Town Council

In a recreations and amenities meeting held in October of last year town councillors discussed the prospect of either refurbishing or replacing the toddler’s multi-play equipment, ultimately voting for the latter.

At that time, the facility posed a ‘moderate risk’ and a risk assessment report detailed the dents in the slide, loose fixings, missing inserts, finger entrapments in the frame, chain wear, rotted timber, corrosion and flaking metalwork.

The new toddler multi-play unit has since been installed and recently visited by three Lib Dem councillors Mark Lillycrop, Owen Jeffery and Jeremy Cottam.

Upon visiting the park last week, Mr Cottam (Thatcham North East) said: “We are going to replace, steadily, with new, better equipment and, hopefully, go onto make some dual use for disabled children to be able to share it with their friends rather than being alone on a special piece of equipment."

He added: “Rather than just putting a swing, [the multi-play equipment] is more educational, children being able to coordinate their movements and stimulate them as well.”

Mr Lillycrop (Thatcham West) added: “I think it makes a big difference to introduce new equipment every now and then. The new unit looks superb.

“We don’t know what the future holds but, certainly, we found that the playgrounds were getting better use during the time that people’s movements were restricted and children were based at home for long periods of time and they were getting extra use at that time.

“We hope introducing new equipment will extend the opportunities for children to play there whatever the future holds.”



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