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Stonebridge Adventure Playground campaigners reach their 1,000 signature petition target

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 October 2014

Campaigners took a coach to Brent Civic Centre

Campaigners took a coach to Brent Civic Centre

Archant

Campaigners fighting to save Stonebridge Adventure Playground from closure have reached their 1,000 signatures target for a protest petition in just two weeks.

Scores gathered outside Brent Civic Centre to issue the petition to the leader of the councilScores gathered outside Brent Civic Centre to issue the petition to the leader of the council

The play centre in Shakespeare Avenue, Stonebridge, faces being reduced to rubble to make way for homes and the expansion of a nearby school after 38 years of serving the community.

This week, a petition which urges Brent Council to withdraw the proposals was delivered to the civic Centre in Engineer’s Way, Wembley, by youngsters, their parents, past users of the adventure playground and other supporters of the Times-backed campaign.

The beloved centre, which was named the Best Community Organisation, at a community awards ceremony dubbed ‘Love where YUH live’ on Sunday, is managed by husband and wife team Douglas and Glynis Lee.

Both were awarded with an MBE for their services to the community just months after the centre won a survival fight caused by a funding crisis.

The centre opened in 1976The centre opened in 1976

Mr Lee said: “This shows the huge and unprecedented support. If anyone in the current administration does not support this democratic demand from these children, they might as well resign and let someone else provide them with the justice they deserve.

Under current plans, the centre, run by Brent Play Association, will be demolished so Stonebridge Primary School can be expanded on the site alongside new homes.

A smaller unsupervised children’s play area and an altered open space will be offered as an alternative.

Since the supervised centre opened in 1976 it has seen more than 30,000 youngster go through its doors.

Boxer Audley Harrison is supporting calls to save the playground (Pic credit: Angela Blake)Boxer Audley Harrison is supporting calls to save the playground (Pic credit: Angela Blake)

Stonebridge resident Senait Kiflai, who has taken her four children aged 15, 14 nine and six, to the playground for the past seven years, told the Times it would be extremely “disappointing” if the play area were to close.

She continued: “It is good for my children; the love it. It gives them something to do after school and especially during the half terms, and allows me to drop them of their on days where I am too busy.”

Speaking outside the council offices, in Engineers Way, Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council said: “Credit to the campaigners. They raised the signatures in such a short space of time.

Adding that he intending on remain neutral in the matter, Tokyngton councillor added: “I appreciate the value the adventure playground brings to them but I have competing pressures and demands so I have to think about the whole borough as well.

“All they views and concerns will be taken into consideration.”

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