Just another brick in the wall?
When an ageing playground was dismantled by workmen, people living nearby expected new swings, slides and climbing frames. What they ended up with was . . . a brick wall. The old play equipment in Audenshaw’s Shepley Wood Park was taken away two years ago. Town hall chiefs promised to replace it with brand-new facilities.
But when the plug was pulled on government funding last year, the council was forced to think again. Now it has now replaced the equipment – with a wall for kids to kick a ball against. Eileen Pritchard, whose house overlooks the park, said: “We can’t believe what we’re seeing…
“Everyone’s been asking ‘What is it?’ We’ve been on to the council and they’ve said it’s a wall to kick a ball against. The wall is right in the middle of the playground and all the kids are going to do is graffiti it and climb on it and then fall off and hurt themselves.” But Coun Kevin Welsh, from Tameside council said: “The wall – properly called a kick wall – is for youngsters to use for football practice.
“We would have liked nothing more than to create a play area at Shepley Wood Park. There was a project in place but the money was taken from us by the Coalition government which first froze Playbuilder funding and then slashed it.” The brick wall was funded through the Youth Opportunities Fund after consultation with residents on the Stanhope estate and Audenshaw councilors.