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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

This morning my 21 month old toddler and I excitedly prepared for our first trip to the new and improved Downhills park playground.

We have been regular visitors ever since my daughter was a few months old.

There was a disappointing moment a few weeks ago when we showed up to the park and hadn't been prepared for it to have been replaced by a building site. However, we were happy enough to make the extra trek to other parks for a while in anticipation of the improvements.

I have to say we have returned from our trip today completely dejected.

There have been some really good changes. The landscaping is great, the original metal slide has been painted to look almost new, the new swings and soft surface around them look and function much better with baby swings and older kids swings paired separately. So well done on that!

 


My frustration comes from the new climbing frame/activity centre.

Previously there have been two frames. One wooden centre that is for older children (which is still there) and the second a simpler, step, slide, bridge and climbing structure for younger children including toddlers.

My toddler and her friends loved it, but I could see that it had gotten a bit old and in need of refurbishment or replacement.

What this has been replaced with though, is an impressive and no doubt expensive metal climbing frame and slide. The problem is that it is also for the older children and I would hasten to say that it is more advanced than the other unit that remains.

It is completely unsuitable for any child under the age of 3 and possibly dangerous for children under 5 as it is quite high with slippery ladders when wet. Also, I found that the raised area for the frame, that still contains the original springed plane and bike, has also been built too high for my toddler to get up to on her own.

I'm sure that with any new development the council anticipates some sort of criticism but I cannot understand how they came to the decision to eliminate an area for younger children whilst doubling that for the older ones. I realise that there are still facilities for them to swing and slide, but an area to develop their climbing, coordination and role playing skills is really important. The old frame, if a bit rickety, had all of these qualities.

I wish there had been some sort of consultation event with the planners and community that use the park. Had they even sent someone out for a day to the park to observe activity, they would have seen how much it is used by toddlers.

Like I said before, I only became aware of the improvement to the park when the work had already begun, so I apologise if either of these have taken place. I can't believe that they did though because it would have surely rendered a different result given the discussions I've already had with the other parents in attendance today?

I'm not sure anything can be done now given the amount of money that has been spent on the new frame, but I could not let it go unsaid given the look of sadness and confusion on my daughters face today when she could not even reach the first step of the new slide

I would also like to send this letter to the council. Would anyone be able to tell me the name of the correct councillor to send it to?

Thanks,


Suzanne (28) and Isla (21months) Charlton.

Tags for Forum Posts: Playground, downhills park

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Can I also suggest copying-in the three West Green ward councillors.

eddie.griffith@haringey.gov.uk;

rahman.khan@haringey.gov.uk

toni.mallett@haringey.gov.uk

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