Mums take action to transform estate’s children’s play park

PARK (EB) MRW 17/8/2012 ''Local mums are campaigning to replace the children's area of the play park known locally as St Claire's Open Space or The Hermitage Stream Giant Steps ''( Standing left to right) local mum Emma Moonan (32) and ex-councillor Mike Sceal (51) with an artist impression of how the area could look with Emma's children in the foreground (left to right) Ben Moonan (5), Callum Moonan (2) in the pushchair and Will Moonan (3)   '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (122755-6334)

PARK (EB) MRW 17/8/2012 ''Local mums are campaigning to replace the children's area of the play park known locally as St Claire's Open Space or The Hermitage Stream Giant Steps ''( Standing left to right) local mum Emma Moonan (32) and ex-councillor Mike Sceal (51) with an artist impression of how the area could look with Emma's children in the foreground (left to right) Ben Moonan (5), Callum Moonan (2) in the pushchair and Will Moonan (3) '''Picture: Malcolm Wells (122755-6334)

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A GROUP of mums have joined forces to transform their tired play area.

Emma Moonan and other mums fed up with the facilities on offer to youngsters in Warren Park have set up the Community Play Park Improvement Project (CPIP) in the hope of renovating the play park.

The area has a good skate park and outdoor gym but the children’s play area is constantly vandalised and needs updating.

Havant Borough Council has made it clear it cannot afford the £70,000 needed to replace it – but officers say they will maintain it if the mums can find the cash.

Ms Moonan, 32, chairwoman of the CPIP, said: ‘At the play park at the moment there’s a BMX area and a skate park but nothing for the younger kids or even the older ones.

‘We now have a plan of what we want and it will include natural features such as rocks to climb on, there will be balancing beams, swings and a roundabout which is also suitable for disabled children.

‘Everything has been set in motion now and all we need is the funding.

‘We’re putting together bids to the Big Lottery Fund and the local authorities.

‘Once they are in we will be doing more local fundraising such as fun days.

‘The area really needs improving and Warren Park needs a place for all ages.

‘My kids would love a nice local park to play in.’

Mike Sceal, former Warren Park councillor, said improvements were badly needed.

‘When I used to be councillor I had a lot of mums telling me that Warren Park needed a new play park,’ he said.

‘Based on Emsworth’s play park, we’re hoping to improve our park in one or two years.

‘It’s not done overnight and it’ll be a long term project but it has needed to be done for a long time.’

The CPIP committee consists of Mr Sceal, Ms Moonan and local mums Nina Rogers, Tracey Brown and Charlotte Godman.

The meetings are every other Friday and, after the summer holidays, the CPIP committee will start to push the project forward.

September will see the group apply for lottery funding and put the fundraising wheels in motion.

Mr Sceal added: ‘As it’s Great Britain’s Olympic year, we’re hoping kids will see it on the telly and be encouraged to do more sport.

‘Mums have to cross the park to get to the school and there’s a keep fit area nearby so mums and children can go and exercise together.’

If you would like to get involved in the CPIP, its next meeting will be held at Park Futures Childrens Centre, Sandleford Road, from 1pm to 3pm on September 14.

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