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MELKSHAM’S mayor, cllr Adrienne Westbrook, has described the show of public support for the plan for a splash pad in the King George V playing field as ‘phenomenal’.
In the last issue of Melksham News, it was reported that a group of residents were appealing to Melksham Town Council to rethink its plans to install the splash pad. The group had raised a number of objections to the council’s plans and proposed that a ‘more inclusive’ sports centre and ‘healthy eating’ café be created using the park’s pavilion.
However, in response to the group’s campaign, hundreds of residents have come forward to show their support for the splash pad plans commenting on stories on the Facebook pages of both the Melksham News Facebook page and local campaign ‘Make Melksham’s parks great again’.
Local father Russell Poulsom said, “Melksham needs something like a splash pad for the youngsters. It has been proven to be very popular at other towns and attracts a lot of people. It’s about time Melksham town thought about the younger generation and provide more for them. As a dad I know my child would absolutely love this; granted it can only be used in the warmer weather but providing a decent play area all year round with a splash pad would be a huge bonus.”
Sue Porter added, “The proposed splash pad would be a fantastic opportunity for local families, and a cafe on site would surely do well (judging by John Coles park!) I fail to understand how anyone would oppose it!”
“People saying it’s not inclusive.. of course it is. Children, parents, grandparents can all enjoy the splash pad. It’s a great idea for getting people out and about in the fresh air. As others have said, it would attract more people to the town,” said Becky Bignell.
Darren Worrow commented, “They are against this because “the lack of inclusiveness for the whole community, as the splash pad is designed for children. How utterly selfish. Should we tear down golf courses because they’re designed for adults?”
Speaking to Melksham News about the public response, cllr Westbrook, said, “The show of public support has been absolutely phenomenal. The Facebook post on the ‘Make Melksham’s parks great again’ page has been read by over 2,500 people and I have received between 200 to 300 positive comments, with only one negative comment amongst them! Also, an additional 100 people have ‘liked’ the ‘Make Melksham’s parks great again’ Facebook page in response to the story.
“I visited Melksham Messy Church yesterday (Sunday 27th January) and all the youngsters were asking me when the splash pad was going to go into the park. At an event held at the Canberra Centre last week, we had about a dozen people come along who were very much in favour.
“Overall, it’s been overwhelming the number of people who have shown their support.
“I am sad that a few members of the public are trying very hard to stop this facility that will benefit all the young families in Melksham. It is a much-needed facility – the town centre has poor footfall and we are about to lose 300 people who work at Cooper Tires; what better way to help improve the economic development of the town than by building this splash pad – visitors to the park will go into the town and spend money. The splash pad is not just about revitalising the park, it benefits the whole town.”