Survey – What You said
The Town Council has analysed the results of the town park survey, run in Feb 2021. There were 621 completed surveys. The survey was mainly promoted online due to Covid. Thank you to everyone who responded to the survey.
The results show how much the town park is valued by the community, especially families with children and the elderly. Parents and grandparents value it as a place where children can safely run about and play. Others come to simply sit, relax and walk and enjoy looking at the flowers and birds. The well surfaced and level paths are appreciated by people with mobility issues as well as young children on small bikes.
Tennis, Bowls and Croquet – The people who use the tennis, bowls, croquet and crazy golf facilities value it for the opportunity to socialise as well as take exercise. A substantial number of people said they are deterred from using these facilities because they are locked and people don’t know how to access them or are daunted by having to pay a large annual membership fee. People were keen to have the option of paying as you go or paying online.
Play facilities – the children’s play area and equipment, crazy golf, children’s cycle track and BMX track are all seen as needing upgrading. There is support for providing rope climbing frame equipment suitable for older children as well as play equipment for disabled children.
Northern end of the park – are strongly opposed to using the park to develop houses or hotels with only 5% of people in favour of this. There were mixed feelings about having a car park with entrance from the A49. 47% of respondents were in favour and 52% said they did not want it or would not use it.
Access – 80% of respondents said they found it easy to gain access to the park and 97% said that once in the park it was easy to get around. However, families with young children were unhappy about walking up to the traffic lights and crossing a busy road junction to gain access to the park. Finding a solution to this is likely to be extremely expensive and needs further investigation.
There was strong support for upgrading the toilets (94%), creating Wildlife Zones (81%) and upgrading the tennis pavilion (69%).
Additional exercise and sporting facilities- People were given suggestions for possible additional exercise and sporting facilities. The most popular ones were adult outdoor gym facilities (63%) and a mile running track around the park (53%).
Catering – The most popular suggestions were adding picnic tables (92%), having a café (73%), incorporating a food café in the pavilion (73%), an ice cream van (66%) and mobile catering van (54%)
Events – Most people liked the idea of having events in the park, in particular charity events (81.41%), social events (75.6%) and music events (73.54%). However, some people suggested that other venues such as Rectory fields and the Robinson field would be better as they are more accessible.
Volunteers – A huge number of people indicated they were willing to volunteer in the park.
- 123 people said they were willing to help with the gardens
- 67 said they would grow seedlings and bedding plants for the park
- 31 offered to help to maintain the skate board area
- 127 offered to help with events
- 105 offered to help with painting railings, gates, seats
- 78 offered to help by sponsoring a facility or an aspect of the park
Urgent issues to be prioritised
In June Cllr Andy Munro and Cllr Sheila Davies made a tour of the park accompanied by council staff. This was to consider what improvements might be made, having read the results of the survey. However, the tour also identified some urgent issues with health and safety implications.
The previous town council had invited the All Stretton Village Society to put forward proposals for improving their play area. Also, in June the council learnt that all the play equipment in All Stretton was dangerous and has had to be removed.
Limited Funding available
The Town Council needs to address issues arising from poor financial management in the past before any new commitments for spending are made. However, the town council receives some additional funding from Shropshire Council each year, known as the Community Infrastructure Levy. This can be spent on community projects such as local parks.
On 29th June the town council voted to use this year’s Community Infrastructure money on replacing the play equipment in All Stretton and on carrying out urgent improvements in the Town Park. All Stretton Village Society has been given a budget to work from and will choose the equipment they think most useful.
At the moment access to facilities is only possible when a groundsman is available: currently only on weekdays. If the tennis pavilion is refurbished, it is possible to ask volunteers to be based there at weekends to take money and give people access to the tennis courts /crazy golf equipment when the groundsman is not available. They could also sell cold drinks/confectionary and allow the toilets to be open.
The toilets are located to one side of the pavilion. The toilet is unisex, but not wheelchair accessible nor does it accommodate disabled users. We hope to refurbish this to be a disabled toilet by combining the baby changing area and existing toilet into one area and refurbishing it.
We will be replacing the safety matting underneath the children’s play equipment which is showing signs of wear and tear. We will also replace a number of the benches and waste bins which need urgent replacement. We will also be purchasing additional picnic tables for the park.
There are many areas of the park which could do with repainting including the railings, bowls pavilions, tennis pavilion, children’s play equipment and crazy golf.
Many people volunteered in the survey to help in this way. We will be contacting them shortly regarding this.
If you would be willing to help by attending the occasional painting working party, please could you provide us with your contact details by telephoning the town council office on 01694 722113 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Longer Term Plans
Once we have resolved the outstanding town councils financial issues we will know how much money there is available for further improvements to the park. We will then use the results of this survey to inform future plans.
Thank you again for taking time to complete the survey and offering help.
A full analysis of the survey can be downloaded below.