Newchapel recreation ground is a well-used area situated in Newchapel Road and on the corner of Pennyfields Road in the Kidsgrove and Newchapel wards.
The Newchapel outdoor recreation area has always been well-used by teenagers, younger children, dog lovers who enjoy walking their dogs in a safe environment and of course, the elderly residents, who are keen to take a daily, brisk walk to improve their health and wellbeing.
Indeed, one of Kidsgrove’s most responsible teenagers, Tyler Cooper-Moore and his friends have been working in the background to improve Newchapel recreation ground, not only for himself but for the entire Kidsgrove and Newchapel community.
So, how has Tyler Cooper-Moore and his friends with the help of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, helped to improve our beloved park?
Tyler Cooper-Moore and his friends contacted myself as their Councillor who represents the area. Tyler Cooper-Moore explained that he and his friends were active users of the Newchapel Recreation Ground and they wanted to improve the facilities within the park.
I held numerous conversations with the teenagers and they asked me if I could obtain some soil, so that Tyler and his friends could embark on a project of building an exciting BNX track on outdoor area, next to the football ground on Chinky Park. Chinky Park is the affectionate and local term for Newchapel Recreation Ground. Why it’s called Chinky Park is known only to the locals who live in the area.
I then contacted Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and I reiterated Tyler’s and his friends quest to improve the area. I was delighted when Newcastle Borough Council informed me that they were aware that that the park was well-used and they were keen to assist Tyler and myself for the benefit of all, whom live in the Kidsgrove and Newchapel area.
Newcastle Borough Council delivered ten tonnes of soil to Newchapel Recreation Ground. I watched the tractors and ground staff deliver the soil in the pouring rain. I personally thanked all the staff for the work that they had carried out.
What happened next was astonishing.
The teenagers arrived home from school and they were excited to see a huge mound of soil, deposited on the edge of Newchapel Recreation Ground!
Tyler and his friends, immediately, set to work, gathering their shovels and wheelbarrow! Every afternoon when Tyler and his friends left their school [The University Academy of Kidsgrove, the former Maryhill High School], they worked like Trojan horses to move the soil into their wheelbarrows.
The boys then manually transported the wheelbarrows to the park, off-loaded the soil and began to construct one of Kidsgrove’s most outstanding BMX tracks. The boys toiled every day to build their BMX track. They worked assiduously, regardless of the pouring rain, the wind and even a slight thunderstorm, did not dampen their spirits.
I am very, very proud of the BMX facility that Tyler and his friends have built.
All too often, teenagers receive negative press coverage and I am proud to say that Tyler and his friends have proved, beyond a shadow of doubt, that not all teenagers loiter on the streets and take part in anti-social behaviour.
Tyler’s hard work and achievement was even recognised by our local rag, The Sentinel and the University Academy of Kidsgrove. Indeed, I was pleased to be invited to attend an assembly at Tyler’s school and I was even more delighted that I was asked to congratulate Tyler Cooper-Moore on his outstanding contribution to the Kidsgrove and Newchapel community.
Tyler and his friends have kindly agreed to work with the school and myself in our quest to obtain solar lighting for the Newchapel Recreation Ground, so that the BMX facility could be used in the dark, winter evenings. This lighting would benefit the entire Kidsgrove community and not be a drain upon council resources, as I was willing to donate some of my Staffordshire County Council community funding to finance the solar lighting.
The future for the Newchapel Recreation Ground was looking positive and we were all embarking upon a new and exciting project.
You can then imagine, my dismay when I learned that Conservative Councillors, David Loades and Simon Tagg, voted to sell-off Newchapel Recreation Ground without consulting Tyler, his friends or indeed, residents of the Kidsgrove and Newchapel community. I was appalled to learn that Councillor Marion Reddish, a Lib Dem Councillor, who does not live in the Kidsgrove ward, supported David Loades and Simon Tagg to sell Chinky Park for the development of houses. I was even more appalled to learn that Counciilor Derick Huckfield, a former UKIP voted to sell Chinky Park. Oh,yes, and Councillor Derick Huckfield does not live in the Kidsgrove or Newchapel area’s.
Councillor David Loades and Simon Tagg are also Staffordshire County Councillors, as well as Derick Huckfield. It’s not a surprise to learn that Staffordshire County Council have closed much-needed youth clubs within the Staffordshire area.
If the quest to deprive Kidsgrove and Newchapel of any further facilities continues, then I suspect that we will become one of the most deprived areas within the Staffordshire conurbation.