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Play area designed by kids for kids in Wilmington opens

PUBLISHED: 10:33 09 June 2011

New Dartford Mayor Edward Lampkin opens the play area on Oakfield Park with Chloe Cogley of Oakfield Community School

New Dartford Mayor Edward Lampkin opens the play area on Oakfield Park with Chloe Cogley of Oakfield Community School

Archant

» A newly-opened play area inspired by the work of a group of teenagers was pushed through despite a last-minute loss of government funding due to spending cuts.

In his first official engagement, new Dartford mayor Edward Lampkin was at Wil-mington Funday last Wed-nesday to open a play area designed for children aged eight to 13.

He was joined by members of the parish council, who, working with teenagers Esme Hutton, Ellie Keattch, Mia Paradine, Brannon Marshall and Rachel Dabner, pushed through the project.

“I am delighted my first official engagement is in the ward I represent,” said Mr Lampkin. “Particularly this scheme, which has seen involvement from all parts of the community.”

The teenagers who last year picked up the Try Angle Youth award for their contribution to the community were not present but pupils from Oakfield Community School and St Michael’s Youth group who helped decide what would be included in the play area were on hand.

Cuts

Parish council chairman Derek Hunnisett explained that the teenagers first helped secure a Playbuilder grant from Kent County Council for £60,000 but this was drastically reduced when the government cuts were announced.

“Rather than give in, the girls fought to secure new funding and Kent County Council were so impressed with their efforts they made up almost all the difference,” he said. The area should be open by the end of next week.

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