Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Playground or Wasteground?

PARENTS are seemingly unimpressed with the new play park at Les Quennevais playing fields, which was built at a cost of £38,000. (JEP)

Jersey's government is being accused of wasting tens of thousands of pounds on a new children's playground in St Brelade. The new area for youngsters at Les Quennevais cost nearly £40,000. But one parent says that's too much. Mother-of-three Hannah Barrot says the offering is a disappointment. “When I watched the park take shape every morning whilst walking my children to nursery, at not one stage did I think it was finished even when opened to the public. “This park is now a disappointment from what was a wonderful park.” (CTV)

"I've just heard Derek De La Haye from the education, sport and culture speaking on tv, informing us that the park is intended for kids just learning to walk right up to age 11. Does this guy have a clue about kids! how did he get that position." (CTV, Comment)

"From the picture it looks very dull and too "metallic" - how can two toddler rockers and a tiny climbing frame cost that much? Probably the most boring looking playground I've ever seen - why didn't they consult a parents group first? I thought the trend now was to built more natural looking wooden and rope apparatus, like those "pirate ship" wooden playhouses and "dens" you can buy from garden centres, that encourage imaginative play." (CTV, Comment)

I walked past it on Sunday on a walk back from the cemetery, and I was singularly unimpressed as well. I'd love to see the invoices for the building. Most of it is probably ground preparation - health and safety surfaces.But there is no transparency in costs here, just a total lump sum. It is so bare of equipment it is virtually a waste ground rather than a play ground.

I realise that playground equipment is not cheap, but this has virtually none in it!

Springers are about £600 each x 2

A good climbing frame is probably around £13,000

Seating maybe £300-500

Strange Ergonomic Seasaw (my description)
£??? cannot find match

Total equipment cost (not that there is much of it) £15,000-£16,000

One climbing frame with slide, 2 springers and one seasaw - I can see why parents are unhappy!

My correspondent Adam Gardiner writes:

"Yet another example of the hideous costs that States Departments accept. I would suspect that the cost was not just for the playground equipment itself, but also the installation of it to ‘approved standards’, and as you surmise, the substrate and final playground covering which is all obscenely expensive + installation, then the fencing, which again probably has to conform to some standard, then not least the cost of plans and probably planning consent too. Even minor works have a minim charge which off the top of my head I think is circa £300 - money for old rope!"

"More to the point is who was contracted to do this work and did it go out to tender? Yes, extremely poor value for money - austere, uninteresting and very unimpressive! But someone made some money out of it!! I too would like to see the invoices - and who raised them!"

No comments: