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Drought puts a dampner on plans for Bexley splash parks
AN OPPORTUNITY for youngsters to splash around in the sun this summer has been dashed by the water shortage.
Parents are upset that splash parks in Belvedere and Danson Park, Welling, were not switched on as planned last week because of continuing drought.
Mum-of-two Clare Smith, 36, of Stanmore Road in Belvedere, said it was a “shame”.
Mrs Smith said she often took her sons Harrison, six, and Oliver, two, to the park at Belvedere Recreation Ground – one of the largest free access public wet play parks in the country with sprinklers, showers, bubble jets and sprays.
She said: “I cannot take them swimming on my own, and my husband works all the hours god sends, so I take them to the splash park.
“It is good because it is free and all the local residents go with their children. It is fun for the children.
“This year I was going to take Oliver for his third birthday in August, but I can’t do that now.”
Mrs Smith added: “I do understand why, but there are other places using water, so why are the splash parks being closed?”
Bexley Council’s cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Gareth Bacon said: “We understand that parents and children are very disappointed that the borough's splash parks will be closed for the foreseeable future, as is the Council.
Cllr Bacon added the situation was “beyond our control”, and that Thames Water had issued a Temporary Use Ban – wider-ranging than a hosepipe ban – and advised the council that splash parks are not permitted to operate under the restriction.
Fountains at Waterside Gardens in Crayford are also switched off, while council recycling and refuse vehicles are only being cleaned so they meet basic road safety standards.
The council uses drought tolerant plants, water-retaining granules and extra mulching to help save water for plants and water collection tanks under Waterside Gardens and the changing rooms at Hall Place will be used for watering greenery if the current weather dries up.