Last year, the Town Council secured the support of South Somerset District Council to providing match funding of £80,000 towards the £80,000 pledged by the Town Council towards the planned upgrade of the Yew Tree Park Play Area.
This playspace, which is one of 15 play areas managed by the Town Council, serves a wide catchment area and, to make sure that the upgraded facilities meet the needs of local people, the Town and District Councils joined forces with local residents to find out what they wanted.
A number of local residents joined a steering group, led by the Chairman of the Town Council's Grounds and General Maintenance Committee, which has continued to meet on a regular basis.
A consultation plan was agreed, which included the carrying out of a survey of households, schools and other organisations and groups in the local area.
All the results were fed back to the steering group, which used the information to help decide what play equipment was needed and how access to the playspace could be improved. The group also decided to apply elsewhere for additional funds, and were successful in securing a contribution of £5,000 from a local charity - the Well Being of Yeovil Community Association.
Once the funding was in place, the group met with potential designers and contractors, who gave presentations on how they would deliver the project and meet the aspirations of local people.
After giving careful consideration to each proposal, the steering group agreed to recommend the appointment of South Somerset District Council's Play and Youth Facilities Team to design the new play area and to oversee its implementation - in consultation with local residents. This recommendation was supported by the Town Council.
The SSDC Team has a strong track record in successfully designing and delivering play area upgrades across the District - including several in Yeovil Town.
The steering group have now produced an outline drawing of the concept design. Detailed drawings of the concept design have been drafted by the Design Team, and have been approved by the Town Council.
Following a competitive tendering exercise, a specialist contractor has been appointed to deliver the project and site preparation works have begun. The installation work is expected to be completed by Easter 2010.
Involving the local community in this way clearly demonstrates the Town Council's commitment to listening and responding to the wishes of local people in delivering services.
For further information on this exciting project, click on the following weblink:
Yew Tree Park Play Area Update