Queen’s Garden Playground

Queen’s Garden Playground.

From Etchingham Parish Clerk

As you may have seen in yesterday’s E Bulletin the de Etchingham CIC had put a proposal to the Parish Council regarding fundraising for, procuring and installing a new playground for Queen’s Garden then handing it back to the Council – which would be contributing to the overall cost thus far – so that ongoing maintenance and eventual replacement of the playground would rest back with the Council.

The Parish Council welcomed the proposal but needed more time to make a final decision which it would conclude while the CIC started work on the survey. Here comes the bad news (and the good news bit), the Council was told in no uncertain terms that it could not pass responsibility for a capital project of this nature on Council property to a third party so could not proceed with the CIC proposal.

However, there is good news. Revisiting the favoured pre-Covid quote for new equipment based on the survey of the village undertaken at the time, while costs have inevitably risen, it is not by as much as feared so work on the new playground should be starting in Spring next year without recourse to taking out any loans or hike in the Parish Rate.

The fundraising via Give as You Live will continue as a valuable contribution to the ongoing maintenance and eventual replacement of the new playground, which will be primarily funded through the Parish Council Precept (raised through our annual rates) to try and ensure that a sufficient reserve is in place so a future Parish Council does not find itself in a similar position to that which faced the current one.

Etchingham may not be the largest of villages but continues to ‘punch well above its weight’ in terms of aspiration to provide services and amenities that improve everyone’s lives living here and, vitally important, people and organisations like the CIC willing to give up their time and energy to make it happen.