Coopers' Meadow Play Area - a letter from Former Mayor and Town Councillor, Margaret Rose
I have been following the letters back and forth from former Mayor Marian Hannaford-Dobson and the Town Clerk with interest and I have to say that I find it most amazing that the Town Council has only just after three whole years started the process of looking into drawing the Section S106 money of £23,746.00 awarded as community infrastructure payment to the town.
When serving as a Councillor I supported with five other Councillors using this money to upgrade and enlarge the aged and totally out of date play area in Coopers Meadow. And when I was a serving Councillor I sent pictures of inspiring children’s play areas from other towns to the Town Clerk, but upgrading Cooper Meadow Play area was not supported by the majority of the then Council and so the money has languished in Wiltshire Council for three years waiting for the Town Council to put forward any sort of scheme for this money.
The cost of the play equipment will surely have gone up over the three years that the Council have delayed tackling this inadequate play area. They will have already compounded their playground budget problems by waiting this long. Had the Council got on with the job the Town would have a decent play area in Coopers Meadow now.
Years ago I used to really enjoy walking alongside the River Kennet through Coopers Meadow admiring this precious open space in the middle of Marlborough. I was also unaware of a partnership between MTC and ARK over the management of Cooper’s Meadow, or is there? ARK already has livestock in Stonebridge Meadow which agreed is a joint venture with MTC.
I also cannot understand why the Council are willing to allow five sheep to have preference to seventy five per cent of the meadow so depriving local town residents recreational space for their children.
It would be great to have an inspirational Play and Picnic area beautifully landscaped which would be the pride of Marlborough and would enhance that area. I appreciate it will take more than £23,746.00 to achieve this, but the Town has one of the largest precept of a town of its size in Wiltshire, so surely it can’t be beyond Councillors' capability to deliver this.
So, come on Marlborough Town Council let’s put the community first.
Former Mayor of Marlborough