By Betsy Everett
The cost of refurbishing and making safe the main play park in Hawes will be around £10,000, the parish council has been told.
A report has identified four potentially hazardous surfaces beneath swings, a slide and a seesaw at the main Town Foot playground, grading them poor or very poor, and recommending essential repairs.
Lead volunteer Robin Peters presented Hawes and High Abbotside parish council with the comprehensive survey detailing and prioritising all the work that needs to be done.
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The parish council has allocated up to £3,750 towards the project in the coming financial year, and chairman and county councillor John Blackie has told members there will also be a contribution of £1,250, made at his discretion, from North Yorkshire County Council’s upper dales locality budget.
Under the scheme each county councillor has a budget of £5,000 each year for activities which “promote the social, economic, or environmental wellbeing of the communities they represent.”
Members would also explore the possibility of applying for an Awards for All grant of £5,000 from the national lottery, which meant the whole proposed expenditure would be covered.
“We also hope to engage with a small force of community volunteers and paint all the equipment in the Town Foot play park ahead of the main season this year,” said Mr Blackie in his submission.
He told the county council that although all three play parks in the parish, at Town Foot, Beulah Bank and Little Ings, are popular with local and visiting children, adults also make “significant use” of them while watching the youngsters in their care.
“Very often the seating in the play parks provide the base for community engagement on a grand scale as these adults network with one another,” he said.
The parish council last year invested in new equipment in the parks, including a play house in the one in Gayle, and a team of volunteers checks the equipment weekly, keeping them in good order.
Mr Blackie thanked Mr Peters and other volunteers for their hard work.