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Petition for splashpad in Stowmarket garners almost 400 signatures in three days



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A petition started by a Stowmarket mother to build a splashpad in the town has garnered nearly 400 signatures in three days.

Rachel Laws, 25, set up the petition after she said she struggled to find activities to do with her three children, Ashton-James, Scarlett-Jayne, 5, and Kailan-Patrick, 3, without having to travel outside of the town.

After hearing about a splashpad being built in Haverhill, she decided to organise a petition to see if there would be a clamour for something similar in Stowmarket.

Rachel Laws with two of her children, Scarlett-Jayne, 5, Kailan-Patrick, 3, and husband Mitchell. Picture: Rachel Laws.
Rachel Laws with two of her children, Scarlett-Jayne, 5, Kailan-Patrick, 3, and husband Mitchell. Picture: Rachel Laws.

"A splash park was something I wanted to see and was something to get done for the local community," Rachel said.

She added: "Everyone would use it. I put up a poll (online) and people said they would definitely choose it over parks."

Rachel is proposing to have the splashpad at the Recreation Ground.

A visualisation of how the new splashpad would look at Haverhill Recreation Ground. Picture: Submitted.
A visualisation of how the new splashpad would look at Haverhill Recreation Ground. Picture: Submitted.

She has already garnered almost 400 signatures on the petition, which was only set up a few days ago, but is waiting until she reaches 500 before putting any suggestions to Mid Suffolk District Council or Stowmarket Town Council.

She said people had made it quite clear to her they were keen on the idea.

"People say it's a great idea and they can see it working," she said.

"I have had grandparents saying it's great and would work, and parents and my friends."

Keith Scarff, Stowmarket town mayor.
Keith Scarff, Stowmarket town mayor.

A Mid Suffolk District Council spokesperson said: "Splashpads can be terrific fun and are always a popular idea, but we must also consider public health and safety, and the need for water facilities to be well maintained, clean, and as environmentally-friendly as possible – as well as the associated cost of this for the taxpayer.

“We would be happy to support Stowmarket Town Council should it wish to explore the practicalities and costs involved for a splashpad at Stowmarket Recreation Ground, and will continue to work with local communities to improve facilities wherever it’s possible and realistic to do so.”

Keith Scarff, Stowmarket town mayor, pointed out recent projects meant installing a new splashpad might not be financially viable currently.

He said: "Stowmarket Town Council are always pleased to receive suggestions for improvements in the town.

"As town mayor, I have to point out that, we have not had an opportunity to discuss the idea of a splash pool as of yet.

"The project would likely cost a six figure sum and is a big commitment in terms of finance.

"We installed a much larger play area at the Recreation Ground, only a few years ago, part of a planned upgrade to most of our play areas.

"We have also just completed the Regal project so our finances will need to recover.

"However, we would be happy to work with other councils and organisations to look at the feasibility of a splash pool provision in Stowmarket."

To sign Rachel's petition, go to: https://www.change.org/p/stowmarket-council-splash-park-for-stowmarket-uk

Read more: All the latest news from Stowmarket