PADDLING pools, live music and picnic benches could all feature in a ‘super park’ that English Democrats are campaigning to bring to Ilkeston.
Giles Farrand stood in the recent borough election and pledged to bring back somewhere to spend a traditional English Sunday afternoon if he was elected.
He said: “This isn’t an election pledge I’m going to give up on because I didn’t get voted in. It’s something that I’m very passionate about and the party is too.
“We want to see a paddling pool, picnic benches and live bands using the bandstand, simple things that don’t have to cost a lot, that will mean families can go and spend a day at the park like they used to.”
Originally Giles’ campaign was focused on bringing back a paddling pool to the town but as he looked at parks in other areas he developed the campaign.
“Other small towns have these sorts of facilities and we should too. If it’s done right they cost hardly anything to run, I visited Rotherham a few weeks back and they’d used advertising and sponsorship to pay for maintenance and the park was brilliant and full of families.”
Councillors made the decision to close Ilkeston’s paddling pool, which was at the Rutland Recreation ground, in 2004 after it had been closed for nearly a year over safety fears.
It would have cost taxpayers £50,000 to get it up to industry standard.
Cllr Mike Wallis, lead member for culture and leisure, said: “This council remains committed to maintaining, investing and enhancing the parks and open spaces across the whole borough – everything from provision of play parks in local neighbourhoods through to larger schemes for young people and adults.
“In addition, we always review the programme of entertainment and events we offer throughout the year for people of all ages.
“The provision, creation and maintenance of new facilities is extremely costly and the key to success for this council, especially in the current economic climate, is our continued drive for extra funding from external partners and sources, such as the National Lottery Fund.
“We would always welcome interest from groups or individuals with constructive ideas for possible new facilities and projects.
“The council would be happy to discuss any ideas that Mr Farrand may have for the open spaces within the borough.”
And Giles added: “This is something that could make a big difference to the town.”
“We want anyone who has any ideas about funding, grants, or anything they’d like to see on the parks, to get in touch with us.”
Giles has already launched a Facebook group and is working on the launch of the official campaign.
Anyone with any ideas can visit www.ilkestonadvertiser.co.uk and follow the link.