Woolwich heroine's bid to block new play park fails
A LAST-ditch attempt to block the building of a new £36,000 play park in Helston by heroine Ingrid Loyau-Kennett has been dismissed.
Ms Loyau-Kennett urged a town council committee not to allow the installation of the play equipment on her own estate at Bulwark Road.
However, building work is by now almost complete and she was told the time for public consultation had passed.
Claims by Ms Loyau-Kennett of antisocial behaviour in the area were also downplayed by the police, who said the number of offences was very low.
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Ms Loyau-Kennett shot to fame this year after she confronted two men accused of killing a soldier in Woolwich.
At Thursday's committee meeting, there was some confusion at first when she missed her chance to speak.
However, after some delay, the council voted to suspend its standing orders and allow her to speak.
She said: "I was approached by several people who heard there was a skate and children's amusement park planned.
"On October 21, that was the first time we heard anything, because we don't go to the school and we don't have the money to buy the papers."
She said a play area would encourage young people to congregate and could lead to antisocial behaviour, such as drinking, vandalism and littering.
She argued there was no need for a play ground with the boating lake play area being nearby.
Police sergeant Ashley Putman said having a safe area to play near Bulwark Road had been identified previously during Police And Community Together (Pact) meetings.
He added: "Antisocial behaviour is a very broad brush and incorporates a lot of things.
"Our general opinion is antisocial behaviour reports have declined. The number of incidents is very low, in single figures in any given week."
Julia Eddy, chairman of the residents' association, said the estate had rallied to raise the £36,000 for the new play park.
She said: "The residents on the estate were delighted when the installation of the equipment commenced on Monday.
"While the adults were deeply joyed, this was nothing compared to the pure excitement of the children when they walked home and saw the development for themselves.
"I just really want to convey that the surprise and realisation of the children, that their dream of a play park was actually coming true, was priceless and undoubtedly worth the hard work of the residents."
The association was backed by Cornwall councillor Andrew Wallis, who said: "for the past three and a half year, this group has worked tirelessly to raise this money. I am very proud of them and they should be proud of themselves."
Work is now nearly finished on the new play area and the town council and residents' association are planning an official opening. The land was originally given by Cornwall Council and has now been adopted by the town council.