Parish Council News
Playground Refurbishment Programme
The Grand Opening of the newly refurbished playground in the Memorial Gardens took place recently. Special guest Lloyd Wallace, ably assisted by Elsie Smith, the winner of the Parish Council's poster competition, cut the ribbon at a special ceremony. Lloyd is a freestyle aerial skier who has taken part in the last two winter olympics - and he proved very popular with the children, who were excited to meet him. Parish Council chair, Jane Brentor, thanked all the children who entered the poster competition (197 of them!) and congratulated both Elsie and the runners up: Effie, Lacey, Sienna,Toby and Trixie. She went on to thank all those involved in the project - especially Bev Cornish who began the project in 2021; Mel Camilerri, the Parish Clerk who worked unstintingly on managing the project; Councillors Randall, Watts, Roberts and Jalland, who organised the opening; and Vitaplay the providers who worked through all weathers to get the project completed in time for the opening. DPSA provided face-painting and sold ice-creams.
Parish Councillor Stephanie Jalland said: "Thank you to everyone who came, who braved the wet weather and the mud. Thanks to LLoyd for inspiring a sense of adventure - and also to the volunteer First Aiders and face painter. It's autumn, it's wet - think how wonderful it will be in the sunshine with the grass grown."
Charlton-all-Saints playpark has also had an update with new and refurbished equipment.
The Moot Recreation Ground’s refurbishment is next. The new equipment there will consist of two main areas – one suitable for younger children and another suitable for older children, which will include a double zipwire. Because the site is next to the Moot and Bailey, “Scheduled Monument Consent” is required, which has meant an archaeological review and an application to Heritage England. The Minister of State’s permission is now awaited and it is expected that work will start in early January 2024. More information about when this will be open will be available in the next issue.
Memorial Hall repairs
The scaffolding that has been visible on the outside of the Memorial Hall for the past month was there to enable comprehensive repairs to the building. The Parish Council has funded repairs to the roof, the portico, the gutters and the soffits around the building, as well as commissioning repainting of the windows and the entrance hall. Jane Brentor, the Chair of the Parish Council says, “The building is an essential part of Downton’s history and future and it is vital that it is maintained to allow its safe use for years to come.”
Refurbishment of the Cemetery in Barford Lane
Those people who go to the Cemetery to visit the graves of loved ones, or for a peaceful reflection, will know that the grounds are in a lovely setting but in need of some extra care. The Parish Council plans to refurbish the area, starting with the “cremated remains” section which will firstly have the grass removed. Each stone will then be carefully removed, the surface replaced and the stone set back so that each grave is respected and remains in place. There will also be a pathway to the area from the central path and kerbstones will be installed to mark the section. The work is planned to start in January 2024. Where possible each relative has been contacted individually in advance.
New councillors are always welcome to join the Council and be part of what the Council hopes will be a dynamic year ahead.
Playgrounds, Memorial Hall and Cemetery refurbishment updates