Crawley Adventure Playgrounds: What happens next? And what did MP Henry Smith say?

The project team who are putting a proposal forward to Crawley Borough Council have got support from Crawley MP Henry Smith, councillors and businesses.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 11:30 am

A petition to save adventure playgrounds in Crawley has raised 4,173 signatures and is due to be delivered to Crawley Borough Council.

The petition was spearheaded by Natalie Campbell and with support from Daniel Armstrong and his Spotted: Crawley Facebook page and Delta Security Management, they have put together a proposal to show how the adventure playgrounds at The Mill in Bewbush and Cherry Lane in Langley Green can be saved and run successfully.

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Daniel Armstrong from Spotted Crawley, Natale Campbell, who spearheaded the petition, Kathey Rogers, operations support at Delta Security Management and David Grafham, the CEO and Founder of Delta Management Support

Here are some of the comments they have received in support of their plans so far:

Crawley MP Henry Smith said: “I call on Crawley Borough Council to do the right thing and keep our adventure playgrounds open. While I was pleased to help secure Government funding to extend Crawley adventure playgrounds remaining open this year I hope the Council hear loud and clear the importance of these facilities for young children and families.”

Josh Bounds, councillor for Ifield, said: “I am supportive of exploring all options to keep the Millpond adventure playground open. I would be happy to learn more about the proposals.”

Cllr Sandra Buck said: “I too believe that it is through play that children can develop their own sense of being. I believe these decision are made at County level. I would be happy to be informed of any actions you wish to pursue.”

Children at the Millpond Adventure Playground

Cllr Kiran Khan, Broadfield, said: “I have great sympathy for your campaign, and I do have a lot of respect for the public who are running this community-based campaign to keep these facilities staffed and full open.

“I would love to discuss more with you about your proposals and speak with you more on this as it is important to get all sides of the debate on this very important issue.

“While the council is under pressure due to a decade of cuts and local budgets being slashed, as well as dealing with the pandemic and providing support, I understand that communities rely on these facilities and if there is anyway possible to keep these open then it is the council’s duty to do this.”

And here is the proposed timeline of what happens next for the proposal:

September

- Present the completed petition to the council

- Present the proposal to support the petitions and show intentions

- Continue to plan the handover of the site to the community in collaboration with the council

- Engage with local businesses for support and resources to support the initiative into the future

October

- Continue to engage with local businesses

- Arrange a community driven launch event for the site

- Set up a working plan for the maintenenace and security of the site for the winter months

- Prepare a table of activities for the forthcoming year and source support for this with the community group

- Look i nto some form of rebranding to support the new look of the venue and how this can be marketed

- Replicate these good practices at the Cherry Lane site ready for that to reopen in the New Year as a manned site