Lib-Dem Councillor’s claims denied by Ovington Drive Park campaigners

9th September 2017
Lib-Dem Councillor's claims denied by Ovington Drive Park campaigners

Lib-Dem Councillor’s claims denied by Ovington Drive Park campaigners

A leading campaigner trying to save Ovington Park playground has denied reports of being involved in talks with local business to save the park.

A previous article on OTS News stated Councillor Fred Weavers had informed them that park petition organisers Diane Thomas and Nat Glennon had joined him in talks with local businesses to save the playground. The claim has though been strongly refuted. 

Diane Thomas says no such talks have taken place and actually the campaigners want the Liberal Democrat’s Kew Ward councillors to release the £20,000 or so they have available in ward funds. Ward funds are council funds that specifically need the agreement of the ward’s representatives to be spent. Diane commented:  

“This is a playground that needs saving in their ward and it needs saving now, not later. Sefton Council have made clear that if those funds are released they will add up to another £30,000 to replace the playground equipment.”

The park was closed as a precaution on safety grounds after a young girl broke her arm in Formby on play apparatus of a similar age and design which failed after corroding internally. 

Diane says residents believe they know why the Liberal Democrat councillors are not complying:

“We understand that the Lib-Dem ward councillors have a pet project involving a cycle track that they want to keep the funds for but that doesn’t exist yet and our playground does. We ask all residents to contact them and urge them to release the funds.”

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The Sefton Council offer came after an intervention on behalf of the residents by Liz Savage, Labour’s Parlimanetary Candidate in  2015 and ’17 and Labour’s Kew Ward branch. Despite it being welcomed by the campaigners who thanked them for their help, the proposal has been attacked by the ward councillors who described it as “ludicrous”.

Liz Savage responded:

“The Lib-Dems say they don’t want to spend all of the ward funds on just saving the playground but it’s needed and the money has just sat there for a long time. They also didn’t mind spending all of Southport’s 106 funds on just the Kings Garden project, funds which could otherwise have been used for this, so it seems a little hypocritical.”  

Diane Thomas says to have the idea of spending the ward funds on the park described as “ludicrous” by the Liberal Democrat councillors is offensive:

“They pretended to be supportive but they have their own hidden agenda, it’s a real kick in the teeth to our campaign, the local children and parents.”

The Vister later amended the story after complaint but despite request did not update it denying the claim. If you want further information on the playground the  

campaigners’ Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/kewplayground/