Petition to save Crawley's adventure playgrounds raises more than 4,100 signatures

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

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 2:11 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 2:12 pm

Natalie Campbell has drummed up support to try and save the playgrounds and the council has already committed to keeping Cherry Lane and Waterlea Adventure Playgrounds open.

But others, including Millpond, are under threat. The petition is being delivered this week, with a view to having the council decision to close the playgrounds reviewed and overturned at their full meeting in October.

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Campaigners and children at Millpond Adventure Playground

On the petition’s web page, Mrs Campbell said: “It’s sad to think that children won’t have a safe place to play or be able to meet new friends and experience being a child! Soon there will be nowhere for them to go.

“These playgrounds allow the children to exercise and play, and gives them an opportunity to talk, feel safe and socialise where it may not be available at home.

“It can also take the pressure off of parents and is an inexpensive way to get the kids out and to keep them active.”

And Mrs Campbell’s petition has gained support from Crawley-based security provider Delta Security Management.

David Grafham, the CEO and Founder of the company, has been in contact with Council Leader Peter Lamb and Crawley MP Henry Smith along with a number of local councillors.

Mr Grafham said: “Community means a lot to us here at Delta Security Management, we really care about the local residents and their wellbeing, and as a community and business collaboration we believe that the site is worth saving.

“It offers vital services to families who need them and a site for local businesses to succeed.

“We feel that this should be a community-based run initiative, not only in the short term, but also for future generations, just like the previous generations have benefitted from before.”

Crawley Borough Council leader Peter Lamb said the council have always said they have been open to alternatives.

He said: “While the council is already committed to keeping Cherry Lane and Waterlea Adventure Playgrounds open, we have always said we were open to viable community solutions for retaining the other playgrounds and we are not currently considering any other use for either site.

“We hope that such a solution may yet be found, but we need to be clear that reopening the sites proposed for closure or retaining supervised play would only be possible if an external organisation were willing to commit to providing hundreds of thousands of pounds of external funding each year.”