Residents anger over scrapped play funds

ipswich: A group of residents are today angry at new Government plans to scrap funding for improving play areas.

Councillor Bill Knowles has helped residents living near to the Murray Road recreation ground are disappointed after their plans have fallen victim to the stringent public spending cuts.

The group were planning a �50,000 bid under the former Government’s �235million Playbuilder scheme to transform the play facilities for children of all ages.

But today Mr Knowles and the resident’s group are “up in arms” at the news released this week that Education Secretary Michael Gove has frozen grants to local authorities.

The scheme started two years ago to develop playgrounds in the UK.

Some of the proposed play areas have been completed under the scheme but now funding has been stopped by the Government.

Mr Knowles said they had spent a long time putting together their plans, which they were ready to submit to Ipswich Borough Council for consideration.

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He said: “We might not have got the funding, but we might have. We had a great bid put together and now we have no chance of improving the play area. It would have been a huge boost to the area.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer said he shares the residents’ “extreme disappointment” and vowed to press the council to look for alternative funding options. He said: “As a former Labour minister once said there is simply no money left, so we have to make choices, we either keep up spending money that we don’t have and raise taxes or we reign in spending so we will be able to afford similar schemes in the future.”

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