Until recently the children of Barham Village had to walk up to 2 miles to the neighbouring village of Claydon if they wanted to play on the nearest play area. Barham Parish Councillors, many who have young children or grandchildren of their own, decided to bring a play area to Barham.
But first a piece of land would be needed, central to the village is a large open green at Kirby Rise, a residential area made up of approx 111 properties. The land is was owned by BMSDC, Barham Parish Chairman, Darren Milward asked BMSDC if a lease could be drawn up for the Parish Council to take ownership, they were delighted to do so and gave their full support. Having carried out a survey with the residents of Barham, it was decided to install a small play area with equipment for younger children. The new Clerk to Barham Parish Council, Melanie Thurston, then got to work with applying for grant funding to help pay for 5 new pieces of play equipment.
On successful completion of grant applications by the Clerk, 5 pieces of play equipment were purchased, comprising of Swing with cradle seat and flat seat, Seesaw, Shark Springer, Swing with basket seat and a Climbing Tower with slide. This has all been possible thanks to the generous grant donations from BMSDC Cllrs John Whitehead & Tim Passmore, £2000.00 from their Locality Budget. £11,305.84 Capital Grant funding & Section 106 Grant both from BMSDC. £7966.00 from the SUEZ Communities Trust. Barham Parish Council would like to express its grateful thanks them all.
Marek Gordon, Chairman of SUEZ Communities Trust added “SUEZ Communities Trust provides funding awards through the Landfill Communities Fund. We were delighted to be able to offer funding to Barham Parish Council.” (For information on how to apply for funding visit www.suezcommunitiestrust.org.uk)
Royston Emmerson, Communities Officer at BMSDC, “The Community Grants Team are pleased to have supported Barham Parish Council in the creation of a new Children’s Play Area at Kirby Rise. This new facility will provide young children in Barham and Claydon with the opportunities to play, socialise and have fun for many years to come”
Another kind contributor who the Parish Council are extremely thankful to is Highways Assurance Ltd who are local Highways Maintenance Contractors and based in Barham. They generously provided and installed fencing around the new play area. The fully enclosed play area will protect children from vehicles and dogs, it also means that the area can be locked at night to protect from vandalism. The workmanship is of extremely good quality and was carried out in a seamlessly and timely fashion by the Highways Assurance team.
Barham Parish Council is now hopeful to provide a small parking area by the Kirby Rise play area for up to 20 vehicles and also to install a low post and rail barrier around the whole perimeter of the green. This will prevent vehicles from being able to drive across the grass, causing damage and giving further protection for the children who are playing. The cost of the work is anticipated to be in the region of approx. £30,000. The Parish Council will again need to apply for grants to enable the work to be carried out, however Suffolk County Councillor Chris Chambers has suggested that he may be able to give some funding.