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Petition response a 'kick in the teeth'
11:00am Thursday 17th January 2013 in News
WARRINGTON Borough Council has been accused of turning its back on hundreds of children campaigning for a park to be protected.
Pupils from St Bridget’s Primary School on Capesthorne Road in Fearnhead want council bosses to apply for Peel Hall Park to be given Queen Elizabeth II Fields status.
A petition with almost 1000 signatures was taken to the Town Hall by children on Thursday when council leader Clr Terry O’Neil posed for a picture.
Clr Bob Haskew Jones, who runs the Friends of Peel Hall Park group, also attended.
The Houghton Green parish councillor claims that when he tried to hand the petition over, he was told the council would not be considering it.
Clr Haskew-Jones said: “On receiving the petition, the council leader told me he was going to do nothing with it.
“I told him this was dreadful because it has almost a thousand signatures.
“He replied ‘no, we don’t have to’.
“When you meet this kind of attitude, it makes you wonder if it’s worth the effort for volunteers to do valuable work for this town, with all the restrictions constantly thrown at them and this kind of attitude of rejection to residents’ requests.”
The Friends of Peel Hall Park group has helped improve the green area, with funding secured to build a £112,000 play area.
If the park was awarded Queen Elizabeth II Fields status it would be eligible for further grants, plaque and sapling from the Royal estate.
Clr Terry O’Neill (Burtonwood LAB), responded to the claims and said: “After careful consideration, we decided not to apply to the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge because our current policies and procedures are already committed to protecting Warrington’s green spaces.
“Whilst we still consider our own policies protect Peel Hall Park we will review the issue as a result of receiving this petition.
“We were pleased to welcome the children from St Bridget's and the petition holders to the Town Hall.”
Clr Ian Marks (Lymm LD), leader of the Liberal democrats, said, "The Friends group do a huge amount of excellent work in the Park and it is wonderful how they have involved the local children.
“It is a real kick in the teeth that the Labour administration is dismissing the petition without a second thought."