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Checkley parish council invest in the future

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A PARISH council is investing in the future by restoring and upgrading its recreation grounds, sports facilities and open spaces.

During the last three years Checkley Parish Council has been steadily improving the facilities for children and young adults in the parish.

The council looks after three recreation grounds, four open spaces including a playing field, and is supporting a new youth club at Great Wood Hall.

The first project was to update a third of the equipment on Tean Recreation Ground just before last year's summer holidays.

Councillor Keith Flunder, chairman of the parish council, said: "This has been well received by those who use this play area.

"The new bright green play equipment and the restructuring of the slide mound has given the area a fresh and cleaner look. "We are hoping to repaint some of the other play equipment over this summer."

New bench seating has been installed in the Checkley play area and the council is looking at options for a new climbing frame.

Mr Flunder added: "This is another play area that gets heavily used by children when they leave the neighbouring school each evening during the summer.

"There are also a couple of swings on Wentlows Recreational Ground."

The main project for the open spaces was the Mural project at Well Meadow Gardens, off Tean Road, which the council supported and installed over the Summer and Autumn of 2013.

Mr Flunder said: "The level of the ground around the wall had to be altered in some sections, but the overall look in Well Meadow Gardens is great and these Murals have been respected by the whole community."

This project was originated and mostly financed by Staffordshire Moorlands District Council, with the support of the Parish Council and many other partners.

The two main developments for young people in Tean is the recent formation of a youth club on Friday evenings at Great Wood Hall.

This project was organised and arranged by the Great Wood Management Committee and is being financed by the Parish Council.

The second is the re-opening of the playing fields at Wentlows over the coming summer.

The football pitch, which is still being renovated, has been used over the last season by Tean Albion, who have now come back to Wentlows Recreation Ground.

It is intended that with the help of Tean Albion and other interested parties that there will be junior football at Wentlows, with training starting during mid to late summer. In addition, with the help of a 'plastic' temporary cricket pitch, the council is hoping that both a youth team can play at Wentlows, along with the occasional Sunday pub or veteran cricket match.

Mr Flunder said: "To support all these activities the parish council relies on the parish clerk to look after correspondence, insurance and agreements etc, a Lengthsman and a grass cutting contract to look after the grass and playing fields, pathways, gardens and many other areas, and a litter picker to keep these areas and the road verges etc clean and tidy.

"A team of people many of the public do not know about, but are essential to keep these facilities accessible and in use."

To continue the improvement of the facilities the parish council has obtained a grant from the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to jointly fund the capital development and renovation of Wentlows Recreation Ground .

The specialist grass cutting and spiking of the playing field will gradually improve the drainage to allow year round access and use.

Plus the purchase of a temporary cricket pitch will give the people of Tean and the Parish access to the Wentlows being used for cricket matches once again.

Mr Flunder added: "It is not only the young that will benefit from this project; both Tean Albion and a local veterans team have asked to use the facilities at Wentlows."

To promote these recently renovated facilities there will be a family open day on June 1 from 10am to 1pm with tea and coffee available throughout the day.

There will be a chance to have a kick around with members of Tean Albion FC, and to try out the new temporary cricket pitch.

Mr Flunder said: "Checkley Parish Council, Tean Albion and children who have attended the recent parish council meetings would like local people to come and have a look at Wentlows and get involved in running local sports clubs.

"It is hoped that this event will lead to these facilities being used by many people in Tean and the surrounding villages."

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