A WIGAN park finally has playground facilities suitable for disabled children.
Independent councillor Don Hodgkinson first pledged to provide such equipment for children with disabilities on the park at Yewdale Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, when he was first elected to the local authority more than six year ago.
And this week he was at last able to fulfil that promise: much to the delight of youngsters from the nearby special school.
After gaining money from local developers and funds from Wigan and Leigh Housing, the park in Land Gate now has four shiny new swings, one for young children, one for disabled children and two swings for bigger youngsters.
Coun Hodgkinson, who represents the Bryn ward, said: “This is something that I have wanted to get for the children for years now.
“About seven years ago, we get a climbing frame on the park which all the children on that estate love.
“I am sure they will enjoy the added facilities.
“Local children from Land Gate Special School use this park a lot too and now there will be more for them to enjoy and also a swing which is like, a swing boat, for any children with disabilities.
“I think it’s important to have something that disabled children can enjoy, as we don’t want them to feel left out in the community.”
The four swings have cost in the region of £7,500.
Last year, Coun Hodgkinson and Coun Gary Wilkes developed the park further by erecting a fence and restricting access to the field the park is on, by motorbikes and quad bikes.
Coun Hodkingson added: “If we can keep getting more money, we will develop this park and make it even better for everybody nearby.
“The children of the Land Gate estate, like to stay on their estate as Wigan Road is too busy for them to cross, so it is vital that we have these facilities for them”
Janice Barton, director of strategy, policy and projects at Wigan and Leigh Housing, said: “We provide £250,000 of funding every year through our Better Neighbourhood Fund which can be used by groups of tenants and residents on our estates to help to improve neighbourhoods and quality of life in general.
“We were delighted to contribute towards the cost of the new swings, which will increase the play opportunities on the estate and also have a positive effect on children’s health by encouraging them to be active outside.”
Tyler Greenfield and Daniel Harrison were among the first to try out the newly installed equipment and quickly gave it their seal of approval.