Parents call for play area in Carrbrook so more children can enjoy the outdoors

PARENTS believe Carrbrook should get a kids’ play area as many are left bored kicking their heels at home.

Despite a growing population, the only real facility in the area is a football pitch at Woodview, which is locally known as the Fold.

However, not every kid is into football and there is a distinct lack of slides, swings and roundabouts from the landscape.

Now one group hopes to change all that by campaigning for a play park to be installed in the village.

And if an online poll is anything to go by, the demand is there as it ended up 208 voting for one and only 12 against.

“There used to be one a few years ago,” said Sally Howard, who is finding out her three daughters – five-year-old Pippa, two-year-old Fliss and nine-month-old Tess – have nothing on their doorstep.

“Now it’s gone and has never been replaced or nothing like that has been put in.

“A lot of the mums of other children at school also say that one is needed and I did a poll online, the result of that certainly showed that one is wanted.

“I’ve lived here for four years and my parents live in Mossley, so I can walk to Egmont Street but my children would not be able to walk back.

“Also, even just having half an hour at the park takes a lot of organising, whereas if there was one nearby, I could just say to the kids, ‘Do you want to go to the park for half an hour?’”

Mrs Howard, who lives on Hillside Avenue, has contacted Tameside Council about the possibility of setting up a play park in Carrbrook.

But so far, that plea has fallen on deaf ears.

Now she is hoping councillors or the Carrbrook Residents Association (CRA) can help and she has been in contact with the CRA’s chairman John Walters, who hopes to organise the concerned residents into a formal group to approach the council.

“So far, three possible sites have been put forward,” she added. “There’s Woodview, Cowbury Green and the area next to where the bowling green is.

“And one of the biggest things to consider is what happens after school? At the moment, I’ll have to drive to school to pick up Pippa, then drive to a park to let her have a bit of a run around.

“There’s a small football pitch at Woodview but she’s not into football. Neither is Fliss, so that means they have nothing to do near their home.

“And while there is the Carrbrook Community Hub, there is no play area there and everything is timetabled.

“Young children definitely do not work to a timetable, so it would be ideal to have something we could just walk down to.

“And there’s a lot of people in the area who think the same.”

Mrs Howard says she reached out to the local authority in an attempt to find out if a play park is possible and if so, how she would go about getting one.

But their response, or rather the lack of one, has left her disappointed and it is possible a fundraising campaign, like the one that may bring new equipment to Mossley Park, may be launched.

The local skateboarding community, spearheaded by Louis Robinson, Aaron Turner and Lawrie Williams, are one step closer to becoming a reality.

They hope to raise about £50,000 which could then be matched by a few larger organisations and lottery grants to bring them to their grand total.

Mrs Howard said: “I e-mailed Tameside Council, only to be told the lady dealing with it was on holiday and I’ve not heard anything since.

“I don’t know why. I’ve not spoken to any councillors either as I wouldn’t really know how to get things moving.

“Someone said that people want to fundraise to upgrade Mossley Park, so maybe we could do something similar or maybe even contact the people that run the quarry nearby.

“With three children, time is in very, very short supply, so I’ll need people to come and help id we are to do something like that.”

Attempts have been made before to re-introduce a playground after the last one was removed about 15 years ago.

But Sally’s idea has gained support from other residents, with Lisa Wilkinson saying: “It can be something natural, rather than your usual brightly coloured playground.

“We’ve got a lovely area and there’s a lot to be proud of about Carrbrook. We’ve got a really good community, as was showed when the moor fires can nearby when it came together.

“But it’s a shame the play area has been lost – that’s the one way it can be enhanced.”

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