Update on Playground
The Parish Council is very frustrated, as are residents, that the playground is shut. It is shut because of complaints about the state of the equipment and anyone playing in there at the moment does so at their own risk. Unfortunately Dickens Heath Management Co. do not have the funds to replace any of the equipment and so their only option was to close the playground.
The history of the Village Green and playground is that they are in private ownership – but unfortunately the company who owned them, Parkridge Holdings, went into administration several years ago. This is why it is so difficult to communicate with the owners of the playground – no one seems to be sure who they are. The Parish Council have written many letters offering to negotiate to buy the playground – as they are prepared to purchase brand new equipment – but no one ever replies. We have even asked SMBC’s solicitor to assist, and he too has had no reply. Dickens Heath Management Co. are in support of the playground passing in to the Parish Council’s ownership but they don’t seem able to progress it either.
Some of the children at Dickens Heath School have offered to assist by writing letters to the Receivers, and at Festival on the Green – the Parish Council collected over 100 signatures for a petition to allow the Parish Council to buy the playground.
We believe that Price Waterhouse Coopers, who are the Receivers of Parkridge Holdings, ‘have control of’ the land on which the playground is sited. But it may be the Liquidators of Parkridge Holdings – it’s all very complicated. It has proved impossible to get Price Waterhouse Coopers to talk to us – but one of our Councillors last week had the idea of putting in an official complaint to them – and lo and behold we have had a phone call! They say they are looking in to it. So we will see.
So that is the latest update. We are very sorry that the playground is out of action, but it is a really complicated situation. The Parish Council have set aside funds to buy a new playground, but they simply can’t do this unless they can own or lease the land