The County You Live, Work And Play
Stonehouse Girl Launches Appeal
A 10-year-old Stonehouse girl has written to councillors in support of a playpark in Marleyhill Avenue, Stonehouse.
Amy Carmichael wrote to all four of the Stonehouse councillors to ask why her village could not have similar facilities to Strathaven Park.
The Alexander Memorial Park in Stonehouse is having extensive work carried out including new play equipment being installed, but that is not within walking distance for Amy.
Residents at the south end of Stonehouse, along with councillors Isobel Dorman and Bill Holman, have already put together a petition with 800 signatures asking for a playpark in Marleyhill, although South Lanarkshire Council have refused the request so far.
In her letter Amy said: “The park that we already have is too far away for me to walk to. Strathaven Park has a baby park, older children’s park which has a zip wire, climbing frame, a massive climbing net and normal park things.
“They also have an exercise park, boats, trains and a bouncy castle.
“I feel that I and other children are being forgotten about and it is becoming a forgotten village.
“Why can we not have the same kind of play park in Stonehouse nearer to where I live?”
Amy’s mum Heather says Amy was upset following a trip to Strathaven Park when she saw the facilities there. Amy is seven-and-a-half months into her remission from leukaemia, but Heather said despite everything she is dealing with she wanted to help children in the village.
Amy’s grandfather David Carmichael is part of the Stonehouse Development Trust and he says residents would be willing to raise the money for a playpark if the council would agree to maintain it.
Councillor Isobel Dorman is delighted to have Amy’s support in the campaign for a playpark in Marleyhill. She said: “I completely agree with Amy, it is a disgrace the closest public play park to the residents in the Marleyhill Avenue area is 1½ miles. Children are to be encouraged to go outside and get fresh air but can we really expect them to walk 1½ miles and cross a very busy road? What lesson are we teaching children if their parents have to put them in a car to take them to a play area? It defeats the purpose of exercise. The children in the Marleyhill Avenue area deserve a play park.”
Councillor Bill Holman added: “I appreciate the money being spent in Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park. But I have certainly got considerable sympathy with some of the points that Amy has raised. There’s a need for small playpark areas at different places in the village”
Councillor Graeme Campbell said he would support any group wanting to raise money for a playpark. And he discussed the work being done at Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park.
Councillor Campbell said: “I’m working with the Stonehouse Community Council, the Stonehouse Town Group and a number of interested parties in the village to improve the play equipment as part of a larger improvement programme in Stonehouse park, which is already underway.”
Councillor Margaret Cooper declined to comment.
However South Lanarkshire Council say there are still no plans for a playpark at Marleyhill.
Stephen Kelly, Head of Facilities Waste and Ground Services at South Lanarkshire Council said: “Marleyhill play area was decommissioned prior to the formation of South Lanarkshire Council in 1996 and was therefore not part of the fixed play review undertaken in 2010 by the Member/Officer Task Group.
“The council’s plans are to invest in existing play facilities and Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park is set to undergo an upgrade.
“We are actively engaging with a community group in Stonehouse regarding future investment in the Memorial Park. We remain committed to improving play throughout South Lanarkshire, however, there are no plans to create a new play area at Marleyhill Avenue.”