Upset over state of popular kids’ play area on Ham

PUBLISHED: 15:09 28 November 2014 | UPDATED: 15:09 28 November 2014

Pictures taken by Evelyn Mathews of the damage the rain has done to Ham playground

Pictures taken by Evelyn Mathews of the damage the rain has done to Ham playground

Archant

The state of a Sidmouth children’s play area – on which £40,000 was splashed just three years ago – has been criticised by users.

Pictures taken by Evelyn Mathews of the damage the rain has done to Ham playgroundPictures taken by Evelyn Mathews of the damage the rain has done to Ham playground

Recent wet weather has taken its toll on the well-used facility at The Ham.

Grandmother Eve Mathews is unhappy with the condition of the play area and says it has become ‘more and more seriously affected’ by the rain.

She said: “This is a play area that is very popular with children on visits to the seafront - surely it should be better maintained?”

Eve said that she finds it difficult to take her two-year-old granddaughter to use the playground, adding: “I saw a toddler very upset with her mum as she said it was too muddy to go in.

“It is very well-used throughout the year - at weekends children have to queue to use the different items.

“This usage has worn away the soil under the rubber mesh and it is very uneven and wet and muddy in this weather.

“The ground below the zip wire has been all worn away and is now so bad that 
adults get very muddy looking after their children.

“The climbing area is similarly affected, and the toddler swings can only be pushed from one side. Even the entrance gate area is in bad repair and muddy.”

The play area is owned by Sidmouth Town Council. Town clerk Christopher Holland said: “If it’s too wet to use it, you don’t use it. If the surface needs looking at, we will look at it, but at this time of year you have to expect some standing water.”

Mr Holland added that the district council undertakes monthly assessments of such facilities and the town council is yet to hear about The Ham.

The play area underwent a £40,000 revamp in 2011 after parents campaigned for it to be upgraded.

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