'Absolutely wonderful': New play area unveiled in south Hornchurch

Cllr Michael Deon Burton and Jess Grant

Cllr Michael Deon Burton unveiled the new Hornchurch play area with resident Jess Grant - Credit: Cllr Michael Deon Burton

A Hornchurch councillor has praised the new playground that opened in his ward less than two months after works started.

Cllr Michael Deon Burton (Cons) explained the play area in Whybridge Close was completed last Wednesday (August 4).

He emphasised it was unusual to finish a project in a matter of weeks, despite potential delays from heavy rain and floods which swept through Havering in June.

Cllr Deon Burton said: "In government terms, a two-month turnaround time is moving at the speed of light.

"We wanted to make a play area where mothers could watch children play from their kitchens.

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"The play area that was there before had seen better days, and so myself and the council found some funds for a renovation."

He said the new playground boasts "one of the newest and special fall absorbing surfaces", and the green's paths have also been resurfaced.

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Resident Jess Grant, 12, went along yesterday (August 10) to the Blake Close play area with the councillor to try out the new equipment.

She said: "It was good, though we did notice there's one bit on the slide that needed to be cut down."

The Brittons Academy pupil said she was enjoying the summer holidays and concentrating on her dancing.

"It's nice to have a break from school work," she added.

"I'm nervous but excited to start Year 8 in September."

Cllr Michael Deon Burton and Jess Grant

12-year-old Jess enjoyed playing on the new swings - Credit: Cllr Michael Deon Burton

Cllr Deon Burton, the council’s longest-serving BAME (black, Asian or minority ethnic) councillor of those currently sitting, finished his mayoral term last year.

He added: “Even in the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic , the indomitable spirit which flows through Havering is fighting back on behalf of our South Hornchurch local communities.

"It is absolutely wonderful to see the faces of the parents and children light up as they see the results of so much hard work.

"If I were a little bit younger- alright then, a lot younger- I would be playing on every part of this wonderful play area myself."

The new playground joins a long list of parks and green spaces in Havering that residents can enjoy this summer. 

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