A mother from Chesham calls out local decision-makers after promises to fix children’s swings.

Karen Luke and her children rely on the local playground for free outdoor activities within easy access in Chesham’s Nashleigh Hill.

The swings have been a sad sight since they were removed by the Town Council for safety last summer.

The mother-of-two, who doesn’t own a car, said: “Nashleigh Hill is the closest playground to us but it's so bleak in its current state that it's not really an option.

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“A refurbished playground was an election pledge by the ward councillor and so that promise should become a reality way before people are due to the polls again.”

Initially, Ms Luke vented her frustration in OurChesham Facebook group in July 2021 after she arrived to the park to find the playground swings out of use.  

The unsafe swings had to be removed by the parks team when the poles and based became loose, Nick Southworth, a Chesham Town Council councillor, explained.

Now, the “emerging plan” is to relocate the swings to a new location, and the significant work required to replace the swings “wouldn’t make sense”, he added.

Councillor Southworth said: “I do fully appreciate that this is very frustrating, I have two children under five and so understand this well.

“Indeed £45,000 has been secured which is a great start, with a large sum being from a local Community Board grant and we are making more funding grant applications as appropriate ones arise.

“Nashleigh Hill hasn't really had any significant refurbishment work as far as I am aware since the Wicksteed equipment there was installed many decades ago - possibly the 70s or 80s.

“The whole playground needs re-doing and playgrounds are very expensive, as we haven't yet had full quotes I do not know the exact sum that will be needed and equally timescales will follow the quotes but we are trying to move this all along as swiftly as possible as this is an important asset for residents.

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While Nashleigh Hill playground is on the path to being refurbished, there were “a lot of steps in these projects”, including engaging with schools to seek interest from parents, checking landownership issues, a survey to residents, and now waiting for a quote from suppliers, councillor Southworth said.

The survey attracted more than 200 responses, and the Town Council “have had to sift the data and identify priorities.”

All suppliers insist on site visit, but their diaries are currently very full, he said.

“We have two meetings in the next week with two of the potential providers so we will hopefully have a little more clarity on this all shortly.”

Ms Luke reacted to the promises: “So sounds like we're waiting another couple of years?”