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  'I'm fighting to keep our parks open'
Updated 01 March 2002, 10.20
Children in a park
Marcus spoke at a meeting of the local council to stop them closing his local parks.

"I first heard about the council wanting to close the small parks in my area from the local newspaper.

Twenty-six small parks were going to be closed and replaced with a few larger ones. The council wanted to do this to save money.

Decided to do something

Map showing Bournemouth
I was very upset when I heard about this because I usually meet my school friends at the park. We play on the slides, swings and in the bike riding area.

I found out that I was allowed to address all our local councillors and tell them why the parks shouldn't be closed.

Spoke to 51 people

I was really excited about getting up and making my speech and although I was speaking to 51 adults I was really confident and not too nervous.

I told them why I thought closing the parks was a bad idea.

It would mean that children would be playing on the roads and pavements which would not be very safe.

Keep fighting

Since the speech, I've had a lot of attention, my friends keep asking me about it at school and I've talked at our school assembly.

I've also been on television and in the papers.

At the moment we don't know if our parks have been saved for certain but because of my speech the council are now re-thinking their plans.

And if they do decide to go ahead and shut the parks, I'm going to keep fighting and not give up."

Marcus, 7, Bournemouth

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