Whittock Road green space yesterday. By Christmas there should be a childrens playground here.
About time too. Apparently there used to be, in the wooded area far left, which is part of the Open Space Local Nature Reserve, an Adventure Playground. Very popular it was, by all accounts, with local youngsters and their parents. It even had staff - and a phone line. But that was a long time ago, when Stockwood was still young.
Five years ago, when the council launched its Parks and Green Spaces Strategy, this was one of the sites that a local group of residents wanted to prioritise for a playground. We'd toured exemplar sites round the city, held workshops and dicussions, and finally came up with a string of positive suggestions that somehow didn't materialise.
Three years later, out of the blue, the Cabinet decided it could afford a £3.5 million spend on the parks. No public consultation on this one, though – councillors were invited to suggest what was wanted in their wards. The Stockwood councillors' bid - probably on the back of an envelope - was for:
- The Whittock Road play area
- Some signs, bins and access barriers at Holsom Road
- Benches or seats on the Showering Road hill path
- More rails and paths at the Coots Meadow.
- [South Bristol Sports Club wanted half a million, too. Dunno what that was for... to extend the car park, maybe?]
Stockwood got the first of these, the playground – which ticks all the right boxes and, at £100K, looks like a fair share of the £3.5 million split between 35 wards. This will fill a real gap in access to play for younger children in this part of Stockwood.
I don't know who got Hengrove's share, though. Their councillors didn't even put in a bid.