Youngsters win campaign for extra Portsmouth play park equipment

HARD-WORKING city schoolchildren were rewarded with more than £3,000 worth of playground equipment after successfully lobbying their local councillors.

Monday, 28th May 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:52 am
A new look play park has been opened at Baffins pond by children from Langstone Infants School. Councillor Lynne Stagg helps Lilia Paine (seven), cut the ribbon. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180488-1)

Around 80 students from Langstone Infant Academy, in Stride Avenue, wrote to their ward councillors asking for improvements to the Baffins playground as part of a project.

Almost a year later the children’s requests were approved, with spring riders, a spinner, new benches and a digger for the sandpit installed.

Six pupils, all aged seven, visited the park near Baffins Pond for the official ribbon-cutting and to thank councillors and officers who were involved.

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A new look play park has been opened at Baffins pond by children from Langstone Infants School. Councillor Lynne Stagg helps Lilia Paine (seven) cut the ribbon. Picture Ian Hargreaves (180488-1)

Tazkira Juned, who sits on the school’s council, explained why they asked for certain equipment. She said: ‘We asked for more things for toddlers because there were only things for big children there.

‘Having a council is sensible. I liked learning about it because I like finding things out.’

Youngster Rio Jeans-Eguzovaku added: ‘We asked for more benches so that the adults can sit down at the park.’

Classmate Rosie Brown, said: ‘I like the new digger the best because there is now more to do in the sandpit. And you don’t have to bring anything with you like a bucket and spade.’

Some of the students said they would consider a future on the city council.

Harvey Jennings said: ‘I would like to be a councillor because there are lots of things you can do to help everyone. I’d work super hard to make more things good for other people.’

Fellow pupil Lilia Paine agreed. ‘I would be a good councillor because I would be resilient and I wouldn’t give up.’.

Larry Fry added: ‘We know now that if we need some help with something we can write a letter to the council.’

Teacher Chris Wells was one of the project’s organisers. He said: ‘This was something the pupils could get engaged with as they use that park all the time.

Cllr Lynne Stagg, a Baffins representative, said: ‘They should feel proud of what they’ve done. This park is used by people not only in Baffins but from all over Portsmouth.’

The kit cost about £6,000.