Damaged and rotten equipment, broken glass, drug paraphernalia, sexually explicit graffiti and no fencing to prevent dogs running into the playing area – this is one mum’s description of the ‘forgotten’ children’s playground on the Wimpey estate in Broadstairs.
Mum-of-four Lindsey Gartland says action needs to be taken to make the area, off Cherry Gardens, safe for youngsters to play in.
Cummins worker Lindsey and husband Nick moved to the estate three years ago after outgrowing their home in St Peters.
The couple have four children, Reuben, 12, Isaac, 9, Philippa, 4, and Charlotte, 14 months, and say the play area could be a lovely space if some money was spent to upgrade it and clean it up.
Lindsey, 41, has now set up a dedicated facebook page, Wimpey Estate Playground Regeneration, to try and bring families together and discuss what action to take.
She is also planning a crowdfunder in a bid to raise cash for new play equipment.
Lindsey said: “The play equipment is so outdated that it is doubtful it is in line with today’s safety standards, it hasn’t been changed in decades.
“The slide is so damaged a child could easily cut their leg open. The grass gets 3 ft high before it is cut – it has recently been done- so you can’t get a buggy through it, there is no gate and fencing around the play area to stop dogs getting in.
“It’s tucked away a bit so I think the council has forgotten about it. All the other play areas, such as King George, Birchington, Ellington and Minster have had a spruce up and have fencing. Minster also has adult exercise equipment that would be really good.
“We just want somewhere safe for our children to play. It is a beautiful sun trap and perfect to have something lovely. There are so many children on the estate, and those that go to Bromstone or walk through for Charles Dickens and St Georges, that if new equipment was installed it would be well used.
“It’s irresponsible of the council to leave that equipment in the state it’s in.”
Lindsey now plans to start a volunteer community group, via the facebook page here.
Thanet council provides 31 play areas across the isle. Unfortunately a link from the council website for viewing Thanet parks and play areas does not list the site off Cherry Gardens.
Thanet council has been contacted for comment.
The TDC should be well aware of its responsibilities and know that it will incur financial penalties if damaged or faulty equipment result in injuries to any users of its parks , including Cherry Gardens
How often do employees of TDC check if each park complies with Health and Safety standards? Please could TDC comment