Thorne Memorial Park likely to receive new play equipment this year following delay concerns

A town council in Doncaster has defended its extensive consultation for a new play park following criticism from a local MP.
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Thorne-Moorends Town Council has ensured residents that the Thorne Memorial Park will receive new park equipment after previous equipment was removed last year.

The authority stated that the project is “likely” to be delivered this year following consultation.

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It comes after the main multi-unit was removed from the site in June 2023 when an inspection deemed it to be unsafe.

Thorne Memorial Park likely to receive new play equipment this year following delay concerns.Thorne Memorial Park likely to receive new play equipment this year following delay concerns.
Thorne Memorial Park likely to receive new play equipment this year following delay concerns.

The town council then began to plan a new park on the site after residents stated on Facebook that this would be beneficial to the area.

Last week, the council launched another public consultation on the plans on Facebook while the site is yet to receive new equipment.

The consultation asks residents for their opinions on elements such as various equipment styles and which pieces of equipment are most important.

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Conservative MP Nick Fletcher, who represents the area’s constituency of Don Valley, criticised the council for its delays during the process.

He wrote: “I have been patient as have the residents of Thorne. However it’s now March 2024 and still no replacement equipment has been installed in this playground.

“It’s really not good enough. And to rub salt into the wound, they have raised the precept by 61% over the last two years.

“This Town Council should be building a playground and not focusing on building an empire. It’s very disappointing indeed.”

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Since, council representatives have stated that several factors prevented the equipment from being installed in 2023.

Laura Waude, Thorne-Moorends Town Clerk said: “Unfortunately, this could not be delivered immediately as projects such as these take time and need to be done correctly.

“The council must follow Financial Regulations, go through the correct processes of procurement and wanted to consult with the public further, not just to ascertain whether there was a want or need for a new park, but for residents and young people’s voices to be heard in terms of the pieces of equipment to be included and the design.

“The Town Council sets it budget in January and then this budget comes into effect from the beginning of the new financial year in April.

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“Last year’s budget did not include sums to purchase a new play park and the Town Council spent £21,879 on renovation work at one of its other play parks at Moorends Recreational Ground following an arson attack and other ongoing acts of vandalism.

“In addition to these parks, the Town Council also maintains and repairs its other parks and assets across Thorne and Moorends.

“The Town Council is aware that a new play park at Thorne Memorial Park will benefit the community and it will continue to work hard to deliver the project as soon as possible, which is likely to be before the end of the year.”

On Friday (22 March) council representatives visited five local schools where some of the pupils were consulted to shape the new park’s design.

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