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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 108

Date:- 19 July 2003

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BRAKES PUT ON QUAD BIKES AT PARK

A REVOLUTIONARY programme to lock out crime and anti-social behaviour at a Liverpool park, set in motion by Liverpool City council as part of a inventory that will ensure the safety of its users. 

Walton Hall Park has suffered the use as a dumping ground for stolen and burned-out cars and as a racetrack by scrambler and quad bike riders in the past. However, Liverpool City Council embarked on a programme to prevent cars, quad and scrambler bikes from getting through the park's 16 entrances.

The first phase of the scheme - costing £250,000, is to secure the boundaries of the park with new gates and improved railings, anticipated to begin in September.

The second phase expected to be complete in March 2004 and amounting to a similar amount will improve the environment around the entrances and improve pathways. Leading to better security as the improvement of sightlines make it easier for the identification of those in anti-social behaviour.

The scheme drawn up by the Council's Design Consultancy on behalf of the Environmental Plans and Projects Team, is funded thorough the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, following consultation with the police, park users, local residents and councillors.

Councillor Mike Storey, leader of the City Council said, "There has been a lot of concern about crime and anti-social behaviour in this park. Ordinary park users are affected but all local residents are affected by this sort of activity as it depresses property prices in the neighbourhood, for example. We have listened to the local community and we are determined to make this a no-go area for scrambler and quad bikes, which cause disruption and threaten the safety of park users. These new gates and railings will be an effective barrier to vehicles getting on the park and ensure it remains a real asset to the community."

SCHOOL GOES BANANAS

LIVERPOOL schoolchildren celebrated their chance to test out their own brand new playground earlier this week after capturing a prize-winning event.

The lucky youngsters from Cross Farm Primary School designed their own new schoolyard in a tough challenge amid marvellous competition in which they won a huge £20,000 received from banana company Chiquita. 

The children drew pictures of how they wanted the play area to look; the old playground was given a total makeover with a new surface and lots of imaginative features for the youngsters to enjoy such as a wooden fort and a train, which was judged among four other schools.

Cross Farm Primary School Head teacher Barbara Kirby, said:- "It's made a huge difference to the children and is really great for the school. This is just what we needed. All the children are thrilled with the new playground and it's brilliant to see all the hard work paying off" 

Liverpool City Council's Executive Member for Education, Councillor Paul Clein said:- "Play is vital to children's development, so this is fantastic for them and for the school. It also gives youngsters a sense of pride in their surroundings, because they helped to design them."

The Chiquita lady in full costume and banana laden crown was welcomed on July 17 for the opening of the playground among celebratory staff and parents. 

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