Cllr Andy Bowden
Cllr Andy Bowden
Accessible playground equipment will soon be rolled out to parks in St Helens, as the borough’s first roundabout designed for children with special needs gets planning approval.

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Plans to install an accessible roundabout in Sherdley Park for children with special needs were recently revealed, as the application went to standard public consultation. The decision was formally approved last week.

The project is supported by a petition by Moss Bank resident Paul Smailes for accessible playground equipment in Taylor Park. Mr Smailes launched the petition on behalf of his son Luke, who is wheelchair-bound and has learning difficulties due to being born with an extra chromosome.

An inclusive Wicksteed swirl roundabout will be installed in Taylor Park in response to the petition in January 2022.

And Taylor and Sherdley parks are just the beginning with plans to roll out similar equipment to more parks, including Rainhill Park and Mesnes Park next year.

The council is tapping into Section 106 funds in the roll out, for example with Rainhill Park. The addition of inclusive playground equipment there is thanks to Section 106 funds made available by the housing development at the former Oak Tyres site, Warrington Road.

Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment, said:

“Our parks and playgrounds should be accessible to all, no matter their ability. We have a wide programme of work to make our play areas inclusive where we can, so that families across the borough can enjoy them.

“And we were glad to involve passionate people like Mr Smailes and his family in the process throughout.”

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