Canterbury City Council recently ran a public consultation on the future of the Cornwallis Circle Playground, announcing that they have funding available to make improvements to the special space.
Options for the play area will include a smaller scheme this year, or a bigger project in late 2022 which would see some of the money coming from a public fundraising campaign.
CommunityAd spoke to Charlotte Cornell, Admin of the Cornwallis Circle Playground Improvement group on Facebook, about her thoughts on the consultation and the future of the playground.
How pleased and excited are you about this consultation?
We are pleased the consultation went ahead and we have been working with the local council for some months now to make sure this happens. Cornwallis Circle playground has been looking run down and has been due a facelift for quite a long time now. The consultation was vital because we wanted to get a strong idea of how people living near and using the park felt about the future of the space.
Has there been a good response from the local community regarding the consultation, that you are aware of?
There was an excellent response; the consultation was shared in many local social media groups, in school newsletters and hard copy letters were delivered to each house in nearby streets asking people to take part.
Following the consultation, what will the next steps be and will you be working with the council/councillors as the local communities’ ideas for the future of Cornwallis Circle are taken into consideration?
If the results of the consultation are that people would like a full redesign of the play park, we have to begin fundraising in earnest to make sure we can get the sort of park that inspires and challenges children; Whitstable is such a unique town and it would be great to see the creativity and quirkiness that makes this town buzz reflected in some of the play features. If we manage to raise enough money in the next year, the council will commission two park designers who will use the comments provided in the consultation, the bright ideas children in local schools offer them and the ideas from other stakeholders (including our group) to develop one park design into the winning idea.
What vision do you personally have for Cornwallis Circle?
Well, I’ve got three children at three very different stages of play (aged 2, 6 and 9) so I know how a good park can work for all age groups. You need inclusive play equipment, challenging and physically-demanding play equipment, creative play equipment and those classic pieces of play equipment where you can still be pushed on a swing and zip down a slide. I would really like a zip wire though – and they need some brand-new swings! It would be cool to see some kind of nautical boat climbing structure too.