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Little Park Sandpit

From Naomi Madeley

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Dear Residents,

I am the Play officer for Calderdale Council, we have been looking at the Wooden 'bed' sandpit in the Little Park on Victoria Road. They're are health concerns due to the condition of the wood (rot) and reports of cats using the sandpit as a litter tray.

We think it would be best to remove the sandpit to alleviate these concerns.

If there are any members of the 'Friends of Little Park' or residents of Hebden Bridge that would like to discuss this further with me, please email within 28 days.

From Chris Barnett

Friday, 18 January 2019

I've just had a quick look at this sand pit, and I'm a bit puzzled. The timbers all look fairly sound and sturdy, and it has a lockable cover (currently closed), so I'm not sure how the local cats get in to do their business.

I assume that it needs to be removed so that the builders can get easier access and put their scaffolding up. I assume the swings will be going as well, since they are right where the scaffold will need to go.

Can someone from Calderdale (officer or councillor) clarify please.

From Pedro de Wit

Friday, 18 January 2019

 In October 2018 I read in The Courier: 

"Calderdale Council is allocating £150,000 each year for the next five years to improve existing play facilities, replacing old equipment and repairing and refreshing sites across the borough...Sites across the borough will be refurbished with exciting new equipment and an improved look... The next phase of improvements later in the month will focus on the Upper Valley, with planned improvement in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Walsden. Further work will take place throughout the next five years."

Removing a sandpit from the only play ground in the centre of Hebden does not count as "improving existing play facilities". Who raised health concerns and who has seen cats in the sandpit? 

If this is the case the correct solution would be to replace the sandpit, not take it away. Maybe the people responsible for this should come and have a look in the summer months to see how much use the sandpit gets before deciding on removing it. Once it is gone it will never come back...

From Jilly S

Saturday, 19 January 2019

To be fair, as the mother of a preteen and now a toddler, the sandpit in the Little Park has long been a bio hazard.

The lid does close but does rely on responsible adults to close it at the end of play each evening. This rarely happens.

Sadly, as an historically regular user of the Little Park, I now tend to avoid it because, quite apart from the regular dumpings of cat poo in and around the sandpit, the park is also littered with the waste of the dog poo bags that don’t quite make it into the two park bins as they’re lobbed over the gates by the very many walkers who pass by en route from Salem Fields.

It makes me sad that our children - many of whom do not have gardens or any outdoor space in which to play - are treated so contemptuously by our town.