Children’s Playground

** 3rd September 2019 **

We have been stunned by four separate acts of malicious damage and sabotage to the playground equipment, carried out at night, in the last two weeks.

We are unaware of any reason for these nasty attacks which are deplorable in every sense of the word, the purpose of which can only be to cause harm or injury to children.   As a consequence, members of the council are checking the playground each morning to ensure the safety of children using the equipment during the day.

The matter has been reported to the Police who are looking into it and we would urge anyone who has information that could lead to the identification of the person/s carrying out these mindless acts of vandalism to let us or the Police know as soon as possible.

The Parish Council has wanted to refurbish the children’s playground next to MADRA for a few years but funding has always been an issue.

Earlier this year the council managed to secure several grants as well as donations from Victory Housing and Bacton Power Station and set about;

  • removing the main slide which was deemed to be no longer safe
  • adding new playground equipment
  • refurbishing the remaining existing equipment
  • adding a new bench seat
  • improving the safety aspects of the playground

The work was carried out by the guys at ALS, trusted suppliers to Knapton Parish Council.

They collected the two new pieces of equipment which were kindly donated to the council by Steven Clarke of Paston Hall and took them to Church Farm where the owner, Steve Hammond, had very generously set aside some space in one of his barns so that the guys could carry out the necessary repairs and refurbishment.

Once the refurbishment had been completed, ALS transported the units to the field and the playground area was sealed off while they were erected securely.

Then ALS turned their attention to the existing equipment and refurbished it, on site, to the same high standard.

The end result is a stunning looking playground with more equipment for the children to play on and enjoy.

The next stage was to have the playground inspected to ensure that it met all regulations and was Health & Safety approved.

The inspection was carried out by The Play Inspection Company on behalf of the Parish Council and was extremely thorough, taking nearly all day to complete.

Gaps were measured, bolts were checked, swings and slides tested and verified as being safe.   Regulations are very tight these days and approval is required for insurance purposes.

Right from the outset the council agreed that the safety of the children playing on the equipment was paramount.

When the council received the report we noted a number of points that it suggested should be addressed.   We have asked ALS to do them all, even though some are not necessary, to ensure maximum safety for the children who use it.

We have received several glowing comments from Mums & Dads about how great the playground is for their children and that what makes all of our considerable efforts worth while, it’s why we did it.

So that children can have fun playing on it safely.