TWO of Ilkley’s district councillors, Kyle Green and Michael Gibbons, as well as Robbie Moore MP, are calling for investment in a widely used playground on Backstone Way.

With Bradford Council due to invest £6.4million into playgrounds in the district, the two councillors and Mr Moore are keen to ensure that it is not just the bigger playgrounds that receive funding but also ones that provide vital play spaces for neighbourhood residents. They believe that the playground at Backstone Way is a key example of this and say, with some of the equipment in dire need of updating, and no equipment in place for children who have special needs or mobility issues, the playground is currently one that despite its popularity is not able to accommodate all local children.

Cllr Green said: “My daughter loves coming to the Backstone Way playground with her friends after school, as do many children who attend the schools in the local area, however, the equipment on offer needs to be improved and needs to be accessible to all children. I fully welcome the investment in playgrounds by the council but Ilkley already has one fewer playground than it should for the town’s population, which exacerbates the need for the playgrounds in town to be invested in and made fit for purpose.”

Cllr Gibbons added: “The Backstone Way playground site clearly needs investment and improving for use by all children. This is especially vital for this site given its close proximity to two primary schools.”

Mr Moore: “I am glad that Cllrs Green and Gibbons are banging the drum for more investment in Ilkley’s playgrounds. Playgrounds like this provide excellent exercise facilities for children whilst having a hugely positive impact on their mental health. I will continue to support our councillors to ensure funding is secured to update our playground but also make it accessible for children with disabilities.”

Cllr Sarah Ferriby, Executive Member for Healthy People & Places, said: “I welcome the cross-party support for this major investment we are making in our children’s play facilities across the district. Despite the financially challenging times, we are pleased to be investing these significant funds as a local authority to support our children and families. You only get one childhood and this is all the more timely given the impact of Covid on children’s lives. Plans are still in the early stages but clearly the two parks in Ilkley must rightly be in the mix for consideration along with other play spaces which are much-loved by families but where facilities are ripe for upgrading. As officers develop more detailed proposals over the coming weeks and months they will be consulting with ward councillors and local communities to ensure we deliver the best possible result from this investment.”