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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 October, 2004, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
Rescue fund for Aberfan park
Coventry Park, Merthyr Vale
The park has been neglected in recent years
Campaigners fighting to save a playground build in memory of children killed in the Aberfan disaster are setting up a restoration fund.

Parents in Merthyr Vale are hoping to raise 40,000 to improve the facilities at the site.

The playground has been earmarked by Merthyr Council as a potential site for a housing development.

The council is expected to decide in November whether the park will go.

The playground was built in Merthyr Vale - the neighbouring village to Aberfan - using money raised from the people of Coventry following the 1966 landslip which claimed the lives of 116 children and 28 adults.

But housing has been made priority as part of 28m improvements planned for Merthyr Vale over the next 10 years and the site is being considereed as one for potential development.

Parents living near the playground set up an action group to fight the plans and have campaigned to safeguard the future of the site as a place for children to play.

Sam Morgan, Lesley Morgan, Carol Jenkins
An action group has been set up by some of the parents in the village

Carol Jenkins, is the chair of Coventry Playground Action Group, said that the group wanted to start raising money to improve the facilities at the site even though no final decision had been made yet.

"We want to show the council that we are committed to improving things at the playground," she said.

"If we can start raising the money, it will show them that we are serious.

"We are prepared to put in the effort to save the playground because it is still used by the children.

"They are in there every night after school."

She said that she hoped that the efforts made by the group would have a positive effect on the council's decision on the site.

"We are quite hopeful that they will save the playground," she said.

"We are hoping to raise at least 40,000 to update the playground with more facilities for the children."

Campaigners fighting to save the playground have staged various marches and demonstrations to highlight their cause.

Around 5,000 people from across Wales have signed a petition to keep the playground, and a similar petition with about 500 names was complied in Coventry.

The council has described the playground as being in a poor condition, and added that it attracted anti-social behaviour.

It has said that a memorial marking the generosity of the people of Coventry would be included in any new development on the site.

A council spokeswoman said: "There are no further developments on this issue at this time."


SEE ALSO:
Aberfan plans reassure mayor
03 Aug 04  |  South East Wales
March to save Aberfan memorial
22 Aug 04  |  South East Wales
Aberfan play area protest
15 Jul 04  |  South East Wales
Petition to save Aberfan memorial
13 Jul 04  |  South East Wales


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