Back in 2020 a group of local mums approached Gorrell councillor Chris Cornell about their wish to improve Cornwallis Circle Play Ground. After several meetings with officers and a pause for COVID, the Cornwallis Circle Improvement Group was launched. The Improvement Group is a Community Interest Company made up of local parents and residents who hope to fundraise for a more extensive redvelopment of the play park than the council can currently afford.
This morning, Councillors Val Kenny and Chris Cornell hand delivered 500 letters to surrounding roads asking residents for their opinions on whether the council should either invest £25,000 in patching up the tired play equipment or give local parents the chance to raise in excess of £50,000 and introduce more accessible and imaginative play solutions. The consultation is open for a month and available online via the council website.
Nicola May, one of the directors of the CIC who lives in Anthony Close, and is pictured right with her children Pippa (4) and Kara (2 months) said, “during lockdown it was really hard to have our parks out of bounds. Cornwallis Circle could be so much better with a little more money and imagination. The councillors have been a great help in us being able to bring our ideas forward and securing money for the space. We really hope the local community can get behind us on this one and we get the playground Whitstable deserves.
“Whitstable’s play parks are pretty poor compared to Toddlers Cove or Reculver” said Cllr Cornell “and over the last couple of years we’ve been starved of resources. It’s wonderful that local parents are so invested in wanting to improve Cornwallis Circle and that we can find a way to help. The £25,000 pledged the council will go a huge way but we believe the play equipment needs a complete overhaul rather than just being patched up. We’ll be supporting the Cornwallis Circle Improvement Group with their community fundraising if the consultation goes their way”
Imogen Tinkler who lives in Cages Close and is pictured left with her daughter Xanthe is one of the local mums involved. “Having a play area within walking distance which ignites our children’s imagination would be great. Cornwallis Circle is a bit tired and one my child never wants to go to. I’d love to see more accessible play equipment, a mud kitchen, climbing wall and a zip line or something for the older ones.”