Our ‘phenomenal’ £111k parks

Millfields park in Caistor EMN-151214-135614001
Millfields park in Caistor EMN-151214-135614001
  • Council reveals spending on kids’ parks - and warns of precept hike to keep all three open

Caistor Council has warned it may no longer be able to fund all three of the town’s parks after figures revealed a “phenomenal” £111,000 has been spent on them over the past five years.

The authority is considering getting rid of the children’s play equipment at Millfields and turning the area into a community garden.

A community garden would be funded by a government ‘Pocket Parks’ grant - and would need to be resident-
driven.

Speaking at Caistor Town Council’s monthly meeting in the town hall on December 10, mayor Carol Mackenzie said: “For the size of this town, the amount of money we’ve spent over the last five years is absolutely phenomenal.

“I don’t know realistically whether a town this size can support and retain three 
parks.

“I’m conscious for a small town we’ve got these three areas (for children) but we’ve got quite a lot of elderly 
people.”

Before any decision is taken the council wants to get residents’ views.

But councillor Martin Sizer has warned that retaining Millfields park could result in a higher precept for 
taxpayers.

He told the meeting: “Pocket Parks is community driven and will require quite a lot of input from the community.

“If there’s no-one out there… then it’s fruitless.

“If the electorate want it to stay as it is, that’s going to have big financial implications.

“Next year, if it’s kept, we’d have to hike the precept to keep it open, to do the work.”

Millfields park needs new wetpour on the climber frame, slide and swings - and the work is expected to cost in excess of £9,000.

And there would be maintenance costs on top of this.

Coun Mike Stopper told the meeting: “The hidden costs are things like power washes and maintenance.

“One of the issues about the site (Millfields) is, as a park, it’s in the shade for most of the day, which the other two (South Street park and the Sport Ground) aren’t.”

Coun Stopper said this results in moss and algae on equipment.

He said: “Where we’ve not got the sunshine, we’ve got an issue in maintaining that equipment.”

He added: “Is Millfields the best place for a children’s play park?”

Between the 2011-12 and 2015-16 financial years, Caistor Town Council has spent £111,592.29 on park equipment - and this does not include any maintenance 
costs.

The data was released by the council at its monthly 
meeting.

The total spent from council funds was £54,753.05 - £17,233.05 on repairs and £37, 520 on new 
equipment.

The rest of the money, £56,839.24, came from grant funding.

The cash paid for things like a new adventure trail, play fort and picnic tables in South Street Park and the recent skate park and outdoor gym at the Sport Ground.

The government’s Pocket Parks funding scheme is designed to support communities to work with local authorities and other 
partners.

Pocket Parks are defined as small areas of inviting public space where people can enjoy relief from the hustle and bustle.

To have your say on the future of Caistor’s Millfields park, email town clerk Helen Pitman at hs.pitman@tiscali.co.uk.

Or you can call her on 01472 851679.

Caistor Town Council is offering a £100 reward for information after several incidents of anti-social behaviour and criminal damage at the Sports Ground.

The incidents, over the past weeks, have affected the new skate park area of the park.

The cash reward will be given for information leading to detention, arrest or caution of offenders or admission by offenders.

The council may also seek civil remedy reimbursement from offenders.

Give details to the police on 101 or Town Clerk on 01472 851679.